Economy, Business And Markets

Regulations for Digital Money

Regulations for Digital MoneyRegulations for Digital Money

Initial policies for the use of the digital currency Bitcoin are being set out by the National Center for Cyberspace (NCC), the deputy head of regulatory affairs of the organization told IRNA on Friday.

“Iran will soon join the countries that use Bitcoin,” said Saeed Mahdyoon.

Bitcoin is a software-based online payment system created in 2008 and introduced as open-source software in 2009. Payments work by a peer-to-peer system without a central repository or single administrator, entitling Bitcoin as the world’s first decentralized virtual currency.

The specialized and expert committees of NCC have devised five plans for using Bitcoin, according to the deputy, who added “the plans address the advantages and disadvantages of using the digital currency.”

 The committees have also been studying the approaches taken by different countries around the world towards Bitcoin, as well as their experience in the field. “They also include expert analysis and opinion,” added the official.

Ultimately, one of these plans or a combination of them will be sent to the Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC) for a final approval, after an initial approval of the NCC, Mahdyoon said.  

The next step will be to formulate the general policies on using Bitcoin, and to declare them to the public, said the deputy, “before it can be decided as to when the money can be used in the public realm.”

Making use of digital money instead of paper currency facilitates the act of money transfer according to Mahdyoon.  

The biggest concern in the field of using the digital money in Iran, according to the official, is that in case any financial problems take place in the field of virtual investments, there are no formulated regulations to support the investors.

The use of Bitcoin in the world had its ups and downs, said Mahdyoon, as it has shown steady appreciations, followed by a period of depreciation.

“The world is quickly adopting digital currency payments, and the positive and negative aspect of their is still unknown,” asserted the deputy.

However, the whole idea seems to be a positive experience, and “once appropriate policies are formulated and supportive policies are adopted, investment in Bitcoins will be enhanced in our country,” said Mahdyoon.

Founded in 2012, the NCC is a government body responsible for implementing policies adopted by the Supreme Council of Cyberspace (SCC), which oversees internet issues. The organization is a major decision-making authority in the hardware and software fields.

Reports say high-level officials in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance and the Central Bank of Iran may be involved in the deliberations regarding the use of virtual money.

World Bank statistics for 2013 show that more than half of the population (53.3%) in Iran use the internet. According to the same figures, Iran has the highest number of internet users in the Middle East region.

It might be unsurprising then if some of the users –mainly the younger generation—have already become interested in using Bitcoin.