Iranian companies have been given permission to pay for imports using cryptocurrencies, the country’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO) has confirmed. The head of the government body, Alireza Peymanpak, stated that the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) had authorized the use of digital coins for imported goods, with the final decision to be made by the Economy Ministry.
New Platform for Payment
A new platform has been created to facilitate payments using cryptocurrency. Local companies can use the platform to transfer digital coins to pay import bills. The platform is linked to Iran’s Comprehensive Trade System and the CBI’s Currency Allocation Platform, according to Peymanpak. The TPO is affiliated with Iran’s Ministry of Commerce and is responsible for promoting the non-oil exports of the Islamic Republic.
Benefits for Exports
Cryptocurrencies can be subject to restrictions in certain countries, such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. However, the digital coins can be advantageous for Iran’s exports to countries that use them, such as China, India, and Russia. Russia has also been subjected to Western penalties, primarily due to its involvement in the conflict in neighboring Ukraine. Policymakers in Moscow are considering the limited legalization of cryptocurrencies to allow Russian companies to use them in international settlements with partners abroad, in order to circumvent mounting restrictions on traditional financial transactions.
Iran has already placed its first official import order in cryptocurrency, worth $10 million, according to Peymanpak. He announced in August 2022 that by the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts would be widespread in foreign trade with target countries. The creation of the new platform will further facilitate the use of cryptocurrency for payments, making it easier for Iranian companies to conduct business with foreign suppliers.