The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Islamic Republic has abolished the Iranian Blockchain Association (IBA). The remedy comes after the organization allegedly violated government regulations. IBA brings together participants in the country’s growing crypto sector who are engaged in development of blockchain technology.
Iranian Authorities Review IBA Agreements With Crypto Exchange
The Iranian government moved this week to block activities of the Iranian Blockchain Association, the business daily Financial Tribune reported daily. The Home Office has banned the prominent crypto industry organization after various allegations including that the IBA was operating against its own articles.
According to a notice published by the Persian-language newspaper Hamshahri Online on Wednesday, IBA also received an order to send detailed reports on its financial performance and activities to the Iranian Organization for Social Affairs. The government in particular wants to learn more about the association’s interactions with cryptocurrency exchanges, the publication revealed.
In early June, a member of Iran’s parliament, Rahim Zare, accused “domestic NGOs involved in cryptocurrencies” of handing over foreign currency abroad, without giving any evidence to support the claim. The IBA has strongly denied any wrongdoing, saying its efforts are aimed at promoting blockchain technology development.
Established in 2017, the Iranian Blockchain Association serves as a nonprofit and self-governing body of entrepreneurs, experts and activists involved in the blockchain industry. One of its key priorities is to spread awareness among Iranians and prevent losses of cryptocurrency. The association stated:
Informing people and the authorities about risky websites and fraud cases is among the goals of IBA.
Iranian Blockchain Association Succeeded After Revealing High-Risk Crypto Companies
The new government notice was never delivered to the association and its board members, IBA chief Sepehr Mohammadi said in a press release on the website. The issuance of a crypto alarm could become the main reason for the ban, he considered. The IBA recently published a list of high-risk domestic companies involved in cryptocurrency-related trading. Mohammadi further commented:
Obviously, self-interest will do everything to stop IBA’s efforts. They managed to spread the word before the IBA was informed.
With rising crypto prices over the past year, a growing number of Iranians have begun investing in bitcoin and other digital assets, turning away from traditional markets such as forex, gold and stocks. A recent study by Tehran’s chamber of commerce estimated that some 12 million Iranians have already put money into cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin trading in Tehran alone amounts to about 30 – 40 billion rials ($ 130-174 million), a separate study conducted by the High Council of Cyberspace found.
In March, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) ordered the country’s domestic payment settlement network Shaparak to block online payment gateways from crypto exchange sites. The IBA has criticized the movement stating that measures against innovative technologies cost and fail.
“Technology is advancing whatever is possible,” the association said, warning that blocking local crypto portals will simply push Iranians to foreign platforms. Similar concerns were reiterated by Iranian Minister of Economy and Finance Farhad Dejpasand, who concluded this month that the government cannot indefinitely impede crypto development.
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