March 7, 2023

Iran Achieves Progress toward Rolling out CBDC

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It seems that Iran is achieving progress steps toward rolling out its central bank digital currency (CBDC) after finishing its preliminary research, Cointelegraph reported.

The Central Bank of Iran’s research arm, the Monetary and Banking Research Institute (MBRI), announced in a statement that it had finished the pre-pilot stage in developing the country’s CBDC.

Mohammad Reza Mani Yekta, the head of the CBI office for supervising payment systems, announced the news at the 9th Electronic Banking and Payment Systems Conference on February 20, saying the Iranian central bank targets to expand the scope of the CBDC’s pilot phase in the country’s payment system without rush in its implementation.

“The pre-pilot phase ended successfully with valuable achievements. The project will soon be launched in other ecosystems and will be used by more users,” Mani Yekta noted.

He pointed out that the regulations that would govern the digital riyal will be the same as those that regulate rial banknotes, mentioning that the digital riyal would be distributed to individuals and companies with some blockchain features.

The Iranian executive said that ten banks had applied for joining the digital lira project, especially in the experimental phase, like Bank Melli, Bank Mellat, and Bank Tejarat, adding all banks and credit institutions in the country are scheduled to start offering electronic wallets to use the upcoming digital currency.

The central bank in Iran was reported to launch the CBDC pilot phase in January 2022. The Iranian digital riyal was reportedly developed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform hosted by the Linux Foundation. The Iranian digital riyal is pegged to the national currency, the Iranian rial, at a 1:1 ratio.

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