President of Iran calls for new laws for digital currency

The President of Iran has called for a new framework for regulating digital currency in the country, in the latest move from the government towards controlling the sector.

President Hassan Rouhani said the country required a legal framework for digital currency and related activities that would protect the national interest, while ensuring digital currency mining remains outlawed.

Authorities in Iran recently banned digital currency mining over fears of its impact on national infrastructure, with power supplies interrupted nationwide as a result of a surge in mining, leading to blackouts across some of their major cities.

Rouhani said the laws must take account of both the technical and the legal requirements of digital currencies when drafting new laws.

Calling for regulation as soon as possible, Rouhani said the measures were necessary to protect investors from the risks of digital currency trading.

“For legalizing the activity of cryptocurrencies and protecting people’s capital in this area, we must think of a solution as soon as possible and lay down and communicate the necessary laws and instructions.”

Rouhani said a joint working group was required to draft the laws, and crucially to raise public awareness of the new measures regulating the industry.

“The responsible agencies in the field of capital markets should cooperate with the media and cyberspace in the field of information, education and public awareness about this phenomenon and its instructions and laws.”

The President also confirmed digital currency mining would remain banned until at least the end of this summer, with “the Ministries of Communication and Information Technology and Energy…responsible for cutting off power to these centres.”

As part of enforcement efforts for the measures, people caught mining digital currency from domestic electricity connections are subject to heavy fines, with plans for the measures to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

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