Iran is finishing the pre-trial phase of its central bank-issued digital currency

Iran is moving ahead with its plans to issue its own central bank digital currency, as it has completed initial research into a potential digital rial launch.

The Central Bank of Iran has completed the pre-experimental phase in the CBI’s digital currency development plan, according to an official statement from the Central Bank of Iran’s research arm, the Monetary and Banking Research Institute (MBRI).

Mohammad Reza Mani Yekta, head of the CBI office responsible for overseeing payment systems, announced the news at the 9th Annual Electronic Banking and Payment Systems Conference, which was held on February 20, and noted that the CBI plans to increase the scope of the bank’s digital currency program. Central in the country’s payment system, but he does not want to rush to implement it.

“The pre-beta phase ended successfully and we managed to make valuable achievements. Soon, the project will be launched in other ecosystems and will be used by more users,” said Mani Yekta.

The executive noted that the rules governing the potential digital riyal would be in line with those for riyal banknotes. Mani Yekta also indicated that the digital riyal will be distributed between individuals and banks, with the restructuring of the central bank’s digital currency infrastructure and the addition of some features of blockchain technology.

Reportedly, Mani Yekta said that ten banks in Iran have applied to join the digital riyal project, with banks such as Bank Melli, Bank Mellat and Bank Tejarat participating in the pilot phase; All banks and credit institutions in Iran are expected to start offering electronic wallets to use the upcoming digital currency.

As previously mentioned, Iran announced that it would pilot a central bank digital currency in January 2022, after years of initial research since 2017. The regulator reportedly began rolling out its pilot program for central bank digital currencies in September 2022, aiming to improve financial inclusion and compete with currencies. global stable.

Related articles: Australian central bank to launch ‘live pilot’ of CBDC in coming months

It is worth noting that the Iranian digital riyal project, dubbed the “crypto-rial,” is pegged to the national currency (the Iranian rial), at a ratio of 1:1. The digital currency reportedly runs on a platform known as Borna, which was developed using Hyperledger Fabric, a blockchain platform. Open source created by the American technology giant IBM.

The news comes as the Iranian authorities are preparing to hold an official meeting with Bank of Russia Governor Elvira Nabiullina, who is expected to visit Iran in the near future. Russia and Iran are reportedly working together to create a stable currency backed by gold, which would serve as a means of payment in foreign trade.

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