Iran to start public pilot for digital currency on Kish Island



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Iran’s central bank is set to launch a pilot for its digital rial enabling cashless transactions for banking customers.

The Central Bank of Iran (CBI), also known as Bank Markazi, has announced the operational phase of its digital currency known as digital rial in a bid to modernize and simplify domestic transactions.

In a press release seen by crypto.news, the central bank says the pilot is slated for July, allowing banking customers and tourists on Kish Island to make purchases and transfer funds using digital wallets and QR codes. CBI says the digital rial will enhance the resilience and efficiency of the region’s payment infrastructure, creating “new business models, particularly in e-commerce and the digital economy.”

Iran’s central bank has been testing its digital currency since 2022 in a limited pilot phase, which started in June 2023. CBI claims its state-controlled digital currency “not only increases payment security but is also much simpler than traditional card payment methods.”

In February, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions against a network of entities accused of facilitating the “illegal export of goods and technology from over two dozen U.S. companies to end-users in Iran.”

Among those sanctioned was the Iran-based Informatics Services Corporation (ISC), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of Iran, responsible for developing the central bank digital currency platform (CBDC). OFAC stated that ISC was sanctioned for having “materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support” of CBI.

As crypto.news reported, ISC began working on the digital rial in 2018 using Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain framework hosted by the Linux Foundation.



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