The Iranian government has suspended the Iran Blockchain Association (IBA) for reportedly violating laid down rules and operating contrary to its own articles of association.
Iran Bans Blockchain Association
According to the Financial Tribune on Sunday (June 20, 2021), the suspension of IBA’s activities was carried out by Iran’s Ministry of Interior. The IBA which comprises specialists, activists, experts, and entrepreneurs, committed to developing Blockchain was formed back in 2017.
As reported by Hamshahri Online last week, the Social Affairs Organization asked the IBA to submit a comprehensive report on its financial performance and activities regarding crypto exchanges. However, IBA’s chairman, Sepehr Mohammadi noted that the association’s board members did not receive any form of notice, written or verbal.
Prior to the suspension, the IBA published an alert list of high-risk local companies involved in cryptocurrency. According to the association, the list would help prevent investors from losing funds to fraudulent crypto-related businesses.
Meanwhile, Mohammadi said that the crypto list was likely the reason for the government’s actions. The IBA head added:
“Obviously, vested interests will do anything to stop IBA’s efforts. They managed to publicize the [ban] notice before IBA was informed.”
There were reports earlier in June that a member of Iran’s Parliament, Rahim Zare, accused local crypto-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of moving foreign currency abroad. In response, the IBA denied the accusation, stating that the association’s aim was to promote blockchain technology in the country, and also expose potential scam crypto websites to investors and government authorities.
While there has been an increased interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies among Iranians, the government has tried to crackdown illegal bitcoin mining activities. As reported by BTCManager back in May, authorities announced that BTC miners who use household electricity would be slammed with a hefty fine. In January, the government shut down over 1600 unlicensed crypto mining farms.
Due to Iran’s cheap power supply, the country has seen an influx of bitcoin miners. However, the government stated that BTC mining across the country affected Iran’s electricity supply, causing the Iranian government to place a ban on bitcoin mining back in May 2021. According to authorities, the ban will last till September 2021. Meanwhile, Iran is considering creating a crypto regulatory framework.