Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for the establishment of a legal framework for cryptocurrencies and warned consumers of the risks in the industry.
Rouhani made his comments at a meeting of the government's Economic Coordination Board on Tuesday about prices of essential consumer goods.
"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, according to a report on his official website. Investments in crypto are risky and "unprofessional entry in this field should be avoided."
Rouhani called for government agencies to "cooperate with the media and cyberspace in the field of information, education and public awareness about this phenomenon and its instructions and laws”.
In late May, Rouhani ordered mining facilities to shut until Sept. 22 to limit the load they place on the struggling national electricity grid during the summer. The nation has been experiencing power outages, often blamed on bitcoin mining. The Ministry of Intelligence has been working to locate and seize mining farms operating without a license, according to media reports, and access to the power grid will be cut for non-compliant miners.
Read also: Inside Iran’s Onslaught on Bitcoin Mining
Iran is not hostile to crypto – the authorities have explored using it to skirt international sanctions on the country. However, the government apparently wants greater control: In April, the central bank said banks and licensed moneychangers can use cryptocurrency mined by authorized Iranian miners to pay for imported goods, at the same time banning the trading of crypto coming from abroad.
Iran has become a jurisdiction of interest for miners from other countries. Attracted by low electricity prices, mining companies from China, Ukraine, Turkey and elsewhere have been building mining farms in Iran, according to CoinDesk's sources.
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