The pre-trial stage of the project to introduce a digital Iranian rial has been completed successfully, the country’s central bank announced. The authorities in Tehran plan to expand the use of the state-backed currency and integrate it into Iran’s payment system.
Iranian Government Prepares to Trial Its Digital Currency
The project to issue a digital version of the Iranian national fiat, also referred to as the “crypto rial,” is entering its trial phase, the head of the payment systems supervision department of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) revealed this week.
Quoted by the Monetary and Banking Research Institute (MBRI) of the regulator, Mohammad Reza Mani Yekta said, without elaborating, that the pre-trial stage has ended with certain achievements. He was speaking during a conference devoted to electronic banking and payment systems.
On Monday, the first day of the forum, Mani Yekta also noted that more than 90 central banks are working on projects in the field of blockchain. Iran’s monetary authority made the initial steps in that direction, mostly in terms of technical measures, in 2017, he pointed out.
He reminded that the CBI has been addressing various issues such as the management of economic challenges related to micropayments and studying various other aspects. He also remarked that the first release of the digital rial was carried out in September, 2022, when the bank announced the beginning of the pilot launch of the CBDC.
The issued currency was distributed among national and commercial banks which have the necessary infrastructure and are ready to provide relevant services to the public. “The rules governing the digital rial are consistent with the rules for rial banknotes,” the executive added.
Besides its digital currency, the Central Bank of Iran has been considering the potential creation of a gold-backed stablecoin for use in international settlements. The topic has been discussed with officials from Moscow, according to reports in the Russian press earlier this year. Both nations are sanctioned by Western governments.