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Iran and Russia Join Crypto Chess Against US Dollar as Sanctions Loom

Both Iran and Russia have similar views on bypassing using the US dollar in favor of cryptocurrency in light of sanctions, reports Trustnodes. This is based on comments made by Mohammad Reza Purebrakhimi, the head of the commission for economic affairs of the Assembly of the Islamic Council (Parliament) of Iran, as reported by Interfax.

In a meeting with Russia’s head of the Federation Council Committee on Economic Policy Dmitry Mezentsev, Purebrakhimi suggested that the subject of cryptocurrency has been raised over the past year as a way of avoiding both the US dollar and the SWIFT banking system. To that end, the Central bank of Iran has been instructed by the Iranian government to begin the process of “developing proposals for using cryptocurrency”.

Purebrakhimi had discussed such moves with Russia’s lower house of Parliament, the State Duma’s Committee on Economic Policy, prior to the statement.

“They [Russia] share our opinion that if we manage to promote this work, then we will be the first countries that use the cryptocurrency in the exchange of goods,” Purebrakhimi said, according to a rough translation.

Russia had already stated earlier this month that its own clearing and payment system for banks, developed in 2014 as an alternative to SWIFT, is to run on blockchain by 2019 according to local media. This after suggestions they may be cut off from it due to sanctions. Russian daily Izvestiya reported:

“In 2019, the Central Bank will transfer the Financial Communications Transfer System (SPFS) – the Russian equivalent of SWIFT – to the blockchain system.” (translated)

Iran suggests that its own cryptocurrency is likely to be a tokenized bond similar to the Venezuelan Petro and must be viewed as a timely adoption in the context of a potential reinstatement of sanctions by the US after its recent withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal.

Russian itself has made numerous references to adopting a state cryptocurrency under President Vladimir Putin. Just recently, the Financial Times reported that his economic advisor Sergei Glazev declared that cryptocurrency could be used to carry out “sensitive” state activities: “We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions.”

Apart from such proposals as using cryptocurrency at the highest state level, the government is still highly regulating public use of digital currency. A new bill is being worked on within the Russian government, that would have cryptocurrency trading and mining banned entirely unless a person enters a list of approved individuals. According to Coindesk, crypto and digital tokens will only be traded on authorized exchanges complying with AML and counter-terrorism financing regulations.


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