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Iran Inches Closer to ­nveiling State-Backed Cryptocurrency

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Checking exchange rates.

Iran is close to launching a state-backed cryptocurrency.

Credit: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

Iran is moving toward a workaround to U.S. sanctions by launching a state-backed cryptocurrency, with an announcement expected by the end of January.

Details of the cryptocurrency were revealed last summer, after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions barring certain Iranian banks from SWIFT, the Belgian-based global messaging system that facilitates cross-border payments.

Iran's cryptocurrency is expected to be launched in phases, initially as a trial-backed digital token in order to facilitate payments between Iranian banks and other Iranian institutions active in the crypto space.

Later, the cryptocurrency could possibly be rolled out as an instrument for the Iranian public to pay for local goods and services.

The currency also could lay the groundwork for Iran to join a blockchain-based international payments system that could serve as an alternative to SWIFT.

From Al Jazeera
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