Hassan Rouhani – the president of Iran – has suggested that all Muslim nations should come together and utilize a single cryptocurrency as a means of standing against U.S. sanctions and “manipulation.” He also suggested that relationships built through cryptocurrencies could potentially bring all participating nations closer together.
Rouhani: Crypto Can Unite Us All
Rouhani spoke at a recent summit in Kuala Lumpur – the capital of Malaysia – and commented:
In the past, Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was seeking to introduce the [gold] dinar and today, with new technologies, we would be able to set up a new currency for the Muslim world to benefit and take profit from the advantages of cryptocurrency and to support innovation, research and development in the technology sector.
Surprisingly, Dr. Mahathir seems to agree with Iran’s president, claiming that the country of Malaysia was far too dependent on the U.S. dollar, which was stifling his country’s economic growth.
We are hearing this for the first time – that Iran and Turkey are of the opinion that we should use an alternative to the U.S. dollar. We can use our own currencies or have a common currency. It looks like sometimes when we use the U.S. dollar, there are sanctions that can curb economic development… Using a country’s currency gives power to that country.
Iran has long sought the development of a national cryptocurrency as a means of avoiding the limitations placed on its economy through American regulators. The region has been talking about this for years, though in late 2018, a damper may have finally emerged on its plans in the form of the “Blocking Iranian Illicit Finance Act,” which Congress introduced as a way of ending the nation’s goal of a national cryptocurrency for good.
Iran has also been cut off from several large payment processing systems such as SWIFT. In late 2017, SWIFT explained:
In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a neutral service provider, SWIFT is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system. This step, while regrettable, has been taken in the interest of the stability and integrity of the wider global financial system.
Helping Economies Get Bigger?
The national cryptocurrency would likely serve as a means of allowing Iran to remain financially stable, though it can also be argued that perhaps Iran has become much more open-minded regarding digital assets. Recently, the country made headlines by announcing that all crypto mining was now legal within its borders, and the process of extracting new coins could be enjoyed either individually or through a mass operation without repercussions.
Rouhani added that the use of a common cryptocurrency among Muslim nations could potentially boost digital innovation and allow businesses, tourism and information technology to grow stronger.