Iran Bans its Blockchain Association

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  • Iran has banned the “Iran Blockchain Association”, a nonprofit and self-governing community aimed at developing blockchain.
  • The ban comes after IBA published a crypto warning list that included names of high-risk crypto-related Iranian companies.
  • Recently, countries have been picking sides: either becoming pro-crypto or anti-crypto.

Iran might not be particularly friendly when it comes to global politics, though the country has been specifically welcoming towards cryptocurrencies. According to Elliptic, Iran accounts for 4.5% of the world’s Bitcoin mining. Furthermore, a recent study by the Tehran Chamber of Commerce reveals that more than 12 million Iranians have invested in some kind of cryptocurrency — accounting for more than 14% of the country’s population.

However, the Iranian government has been recently showing hostile behavior towards cryptocurrencies. First, in late May, the country announced a four-month ban on Bitcoin mining citing “energy concerns” as the cause. And now, the Iranian Interior Ministry has suspended the Iran Blockchain Association.

According to the association’s website, Iran Blockchain Association (IBA) is “a nonprofit and self-governing community of entrepreneurs, experts, specialists, activists and enthusiasts of blockchain who work to develop this technology.”

According to a report on the incident, IBA has been required to present detailed reports regarding its financial activities to Iran’s Social Affairs Organization. Sepehr Mohammadi, head of IBA, asserted that the main reason behind this ban can be that the association recently published a crypto warning list including the names of high-risk crypto-related Iranian companies.

Countries Oppose Crypto Adoption

Currently, cryptocurrencies are in a peculiar situation globally. While only a year ago no country would even mention cryptocurrencies, now they are picking sides: either becoming pro-crypto or anti-crypto.

There is El Salvador, which recently voted Bitcoin as legal tender. Some countries, which seem to be intending to follow suit, are considering adopting cryptocurrencies. Paraguay, for instance, has drawn up legislation for crypto adoption. Moreover, Portugal has also become more crypto-friendly as its central bank announced that it will award licenses to national crypto exchanges.

Besides, there is also a surge in crypto adoption among Latin American countries. Officials from Mexico, Panama, Brazil, and Argentina have been showing interest in cryptocurrencies, particularly in Bitcoin.

However, at the same time, some countries are becoming more hostile to crypto than ever, with China leading the list. Starting late May, China’s State Council signaled a crackdown on cryptocurrency mining. And since then, the country has been persistently enhancing restrictions towards cryptocurrencies.

A week ago, China started shutting down Bitcoin mining operations in Sichuan. And just yesterday, the Central Bank of China (PBOC) required numerous major banks and payment institutions to suspend providing services to crypto-related businesses. All these restrictions come at a time when China is getting ready for a full roll-out of its CBDC in the digital yuan.