The Interior Ministry of the Islamic Republic has suspended the Iran Blockchain Association (IBA). The measure comes after the organization allegedly violated government regulations. The IBA brings together participants from the country’s growing crypto sector engaged in the development of blockchain technology.
Iranian authorities review IBA deals with crypto exchanges
The Iranian government postponed this week to block activities by the Iran Blockchain Association, the business newspaper Financial Tribune reported on Sunday. The Interior Ministry banned the well-known crypto-industry organization after various allegations, including that the IBA was operating against its own statutes.
The IBA was also instructed to provide the Iranian Social Affairs Organization with detailed reports on its financial performance and activities, according to a notice published Wednesday by the Persian newspaper Hamshahri Online. The government is particularly keen to learn more about the association’s interactions with cryptocurrency exchanges, the publication said.
In early June, a member of Iran’s parliament, Rahim Zare, accused “domestic NGOs involved in cryptocurrencies” of transferring foreign currencies abroad without providing evidence to support the allegation. The IBA strongly denied any wrongdoing and stated that its efforts were focused on promoting the development of blockchain technology.
Founded in 2017, the Iran Blockchain Association is a non-profit and self-governing body of entrepreneurs, experts and activists working in the blockchain industry. One of its top priorities is to spread awareness among Iranians and prevent losses from cryptocurrency fraud. The association stated:
Informing people and authorities about risky websites and cases of fraud is one of the goals of the IBA.
Iranian blockchain association hit after high risk crypto companies exposed
The new government announcement was never delivered to the association and its board members, said IBA director Sepehr Mohammadi in a press release on his website. The publication of a crypto warning could become the main reason for the ban, he mused. The IBA recently released a list of high risk domestic companies involved in cryptocurrency businesses. Mohammadi further commented:
Obviously, self-interest will do everything possible to stop the IBA’s efforts. They managed to get the notice out before the IBA was informed.
With crypto prices soaring over the past year, a growing number of Iranians have begun to invest in Bitcoin and other digital assets, moving away from traditional markets like forex, gold, and stocks. According to a recent study by the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, around 12 million Iranians have already invested money in cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin trading in Tehran alone amounts to around 30-40 trillion rials (130-174 million US dollars), according to a separate study by the High Council of Cyberspace.
In March, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) ordered the country’s domestic payment processing network Shaparak to block online payment gateways from crypto exchange websites. The IBA criticized the move on the grounds that measures against innovative technologies were costly and unsuccessful.
“The technology is advancing whatever may,” the association said, warning that blocking local crypto portals will simply push Iranians to foreign platforms. Similar concerns were raised by Iran’s Economy and Finance Minister Farhad Dejpasand, who concluded this month that the government cannot stand in the way of crypto development indefinitely.
What do you think of the Iran Blockchain Association ban? Do share your thoughts on the case in the comments below.
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