Category Archive : Iran

Cryptocurrency and CBDC trends in the Middle East – London Business News

Without a doubt, there has been a steady growing international interest in and requests for Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in many parts of the world. While it may be an idea in many places, the Middle East seems to be moving forward quickly in order to take advantage of the profit from CBDC as the global trading and energy trends are gradually changing. Cryptocurrency Brokers in many nations have already started taking significant steps towards the creation of CBDCs. The list includes a series of small island states around the globe, as well as China.

If you’re looking to get a better understanding of the CBDC phenomenon in Middle Eastern countries, read on.

Keeping up with the trends

In an attempt to keep up with the changes that the Coronavirus pandemic has been forcing us to face within the past 18 months, most countries in the Middle East have started embracing a series of payment-related upgrades. While going back to ‘normal’ seems to be a desire that is not attainable, going forward and accelerating the switch to digital payments seems to be the reality we are all living in right now. Contactless and mobile payment types have gained more ground than ever. These new methods are becoming part of our daily shopping routine, along with the use of QR scanners and payment alternatives that let us make a purchase now and pay later on. The Winter Olympics, to be held in Beijing in 2022, already promise to introduce participants to a series of special badges, gloves, and Olympic uniforms that will include payment functions.

Without a doubt, we are experiencing many impressive changes around us. While attempting to keep up with the trends, global central banks are also striving to step up their efforts and make room for digital cash, called central bank digital currency or CBDC in short.

What Is CDBC?

CBDC is a brand new digital currency operated and fully regulated by a financial authority that belongs to a sovereign country. CBDC does not involve any…


Bitcoin (BTCUSD) soared to a fresh lifetime high on US ETF inclusion; what’s next?

Bitcoin (BTCUSD-Bitfinex) made a fresh lifetime high around 66927.00 Wednesday (20th October) after the official launch of the U.S. ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) in BTC. This paves the way for investment in BTC-related ETFs by institutions. Some influential/legendary/celebrity traders like Tudor Jones also pitched BTC as digital gold and a preferred inflation hedge instead of original gold and boosted BTCUSD (as a volatile digital gold). The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF tracks BTC futures contracts rather than a spot. Like CFD (Contract for Difference), one can also short sell BTC ETF. The U.S. SEC has not approved a spot BTC ETF. Thus the ETF fund is not buying any Bitcoin, but merely taking a position like in the future or CFD. This eliminates the risk of a ‘forgotten/stolen’ password for a Bitcoin payment address (storage) and subsequent frauds.

The U.S. SEC Chairman Gensler HAS explained why the regulator approved BTC futures ETF but not a spot. Gensler said:

“–SEC should be technology-neutral, but not policy-neutral. What we’re trying to do is ensure to the best we can within our authorities to bring projects into the investor protection perimeter. Bitcoin futures have been overseen by our sibling agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which I was once honored and proud to serve there and that’s been four years—one of the applications went effective with regard to those products over at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange [CME] that our sibling agency oversees.  

What you have here is a product that’s been overseen for four years by a U.S. federal regulator, the CFTC, and that’s being wrapped inside of something that’s within our jurisdiction called the Investment Company Act of 1940. So, we have some ability to bring it inside of investor protection–bitcoin is still a highly speculative asset class and listeners should understand that underneath this, it still has that same aspect of volatility and speculation–Our sister…


Is Hyperinflation Inevitable? Jack Dorsey Says It’ll “Change Everything”

When Square’s boss Jack Dorsey talks about hyperinflation, the world listens. And Twitter reacts. Since so-called developed economies are now feeling the pain that inflation brings, the concept is in everyone’s mind. Every human has a front-row seat to witness the consequences of the United State’s relentless money printing. And, since the Dollar is still the reserve currency of the world,  they’re all feeling it too.

Related Reading | Bullish For Bitcoin: US Inflation Expectation Breaks Out From Decade Long Downtrend

This is Jack Dorsey’s tweet:

As you can see, he doesn’t merely talk about inflation. He goes for “hyperinflation,” which caused adverse reactions in the replies and the quoted tweets. They accused him of fear-mongering and quoted official numbers at him. And the nay-sayers probably have a point here, because the US is far removed from the reality that word implies. However, one thing’s for sure: money printer goes brrrrrrrr… and it hasn’t stopped working since Covid hit.

Negative And Moderate Reactions To Jack Dorsey‘s Tweet

This is an example of an unnecessarily insulting response from a traditional finance person. 

This man has obviously not done his homework regarding Bitcoin, so his argument is invalid. And doesn’t require a response. Plus, he’s being insulting to get attention, which he got. So, good for him and his dopamine levels. Let’s hope he has fun staying poor.

This is a Venezuelan economist with a moderate answer to Jack Dorsey.


Cyber Week in Review: October 22, 2021

Iranian Malware Identified Across the Middle East 

Microsoft has warned that a group linked to Iran has been targeting U.S., European Union, and Israeli defense companies. The group, currently designated DEV-0343, has also targeted geographic information systems and maritime firms throughout the Middle East. The attacks utilized a technique known as “password spraying,” in which hackers attempt to log into an account using a dictionary of thousands of potential passwords. The attack appears to have compromised around 20 of the 250 targeted organizations. The attack comes on the heels of another, more sophisticated attack by an Iranian threat actor known as MalKamak. Cybersecurity firm Cyberreason announced that they had identified a major cyberespionage campaign conducted by MalKamak dubbed Operation GhostShell. Lior Div, the CEO of Cyberreason, called MalKamak a “highly sophisticated” threat actor. The espionage operations appear aimed at aerospace and telecommunications companies across Europe, the Middle East, and North America. MalKamak was able to route its activities through Dropbox accounts, which allowed it to exfiltrate data for over two years before the campaign was detected. 

The Reemergence of DarkSide  

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency identified a new ransomware-as-a-service group known as BlackMatter in September. Researchers believe BlackMatter is an offshoot of the disbanded DarkSide hacking group, which came to prominence with the hack of the Colonial Pipeline Company in May of 2021. DarkSide disappeared in May 2021 following the Colonial Pipeline hack after it lost access to its servers and cryptocurrency it used to pay its affiliates. BlackMatter’s hacking toolkit carries a number of similarities with the malware deployed by DarkSide, leading researchers to believe the two groups…


Global Sanctions Dashboard: Halloween Edition


October 22, 2021 • 11:30 am ET

Global Sanctions Dashboard: Halloween Edition

Julia Friedlander, Michael Albanese and Castellum.AI

In the Dashboard’s summer recap, we unpacked the current state of sanctions against the Taliban, China’s utilization of its Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, and growing efforts to combat global corruption and human rights abuses through sanctions policy. This month we examine OFAC’s evolving approach to cryptocurrencies, what the Pandora Papers say about the efficiency of sanctions, and ongoing international sanctions against Iran, Myanmar, and Russian authorities in Crimea. Not to mention the long-awaited sanctions review at the US Treasury…

After Secretary Yellen promised a review of the Treasury’s sanctions program during her confirmation hearing, Treasury published its much anticipated review of US sanctions policy. The review outlines plans to modernize to meet rising geopolitical and technological challenges. Much of what the review proposes aligns closely with the findings of this Dashboard, such as: [1] tying sanctions to clear, reasonable policy objectives, [2] incorporating multilateral coordination, where possible, [3] mitigating adverse economic and humanitarian impact, [4] improving communication with financial institutions, civil society, and allies, [5] and modernizing its workforce and operational capabilities. Yet we already see that the private sector and foreign governments will be left wanting much more: guidance, assurances, and outreach. Knowing how this all works, Dan Fried and Brian O’Toole responded quickly to offer their insight. The review itself may…


Cryptocurrency roundup: bitcoin hits a new record high

Bitcoin hits new high of over $67,000

Bitcoin hit a new high this week, hitting $67,016, boosted by the launch of a new ETF that tracks the cryptocurrency’s price (see below). It has risen by more than 130% since the start of the year – though not without a lot of volatility. The new high leaves bitcoin as the world’s 13th biggest currency with a market cap of $18.85m, says the Independent, surpassing the Swiss franc and Russian rouble. In terms of the world’s biggest companies, it now ranks higher than Facebook and Tesla.

Bitcoin ETF launches with more in the pipeline

As you may have read in Dominic’s Money Morning this week, the ProShares Bitcoin Futures ETF launched on the New York Stock Exchange this week. The ETF will hold futures that track the bitcoin price. Two more ETFs from Van Eck and Grayscale are also set to launch.

The SEC’s decision not to oppose the fund is “a sign that major global regulators are becoming more comfortable with crypto-backed products, even if they remain cautious on the industry more widely” says the FT.

Pennsylvania bitcoin miner debuts on Nasdaq

Stronghold Digital Mining (Nasdaq: SDIG), which mines bitcoin using energy from waste coal, made its stockmarket debut this week. It launched at $19 a share and quickly climbed to $31.90, ending its first day of trading at $28.90. The company went public via a traditional IPO rather than using a special purpose acquisition company as it gave investors more confidence, having been “been vetted by the SEC the regular way”. 

The company takes spoil from Pennsylvania’s coal mines – co-founder Bill Spence reckons there are 840 slag heaps dotted around the state –  and uses “fluidised bed boilers to remove toxins”, says CNBC, which helps produce the power used to mine bitcoin. The company made a loss of $3.5m in the first half of the year on revenues of $7.9m

Want free crypto? Just get your retina scanned.

In the hopes of getting some free cryptocurrency more than…


Iran prepares to pilot national cryptocurrency

Iran is preparing for the pilot phase of its digital currency project once the country’s Money and Credit Council approves, according to the Central Bank of Iran’s (CBI) newly-appointed Governor of the Ali Salehabadi.

The CBI is also gearing for the plan to reform the legislation that governs its own activities.

The regulator is now studying potential risks and benefits associated with the initiative, according to Salehabadil after his first meeting with lawmakers,

The new phase of the Iranian central bank digital currency (CBDC) project is in line with earlier plans for the development of national crypto.

CBI’s Informatics Services Corporation was tasked to develop a sovereign digital currency three years ago.

A prototype was designed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform.

Iran’s crypto rial would not be mined, unlike cryptocurrencies based on public blockchains, such as Bitcoin.

Iranian officials have emphasized that crypto rial is not a decentralized cryptocurrency for small, cashless transactions.

The CBI’s new management and members of the Majlis also agreed to establish a joint commission that would quickly update the law that governs the central bank’s activities.

Consequently, a special working group will be formed to clarify the government and the CBI’s positions on cryptocurrencies.

Lawmakers have opposed the restrictive policies that only allow banks and licensed moneychangers to use Iran-minted coins to pay for imports.


Climate goals will fail as long as cryptocurrency exists

THE biggest social and economic hurdle to implementing substantial climate mitigation and adaptation actions is acceptance that many of these are unavoidably disruptive; some profoundly so. This is why some defy all reason to stubbornly resist even the idea of climate change: many of the familiar trappings of our modern life are going to have to disappear with no certainty that they will be replaced at all, let alone with something as convenient and comfortable.

As in medicine, the guiding principle to climate action should be, “Do no harm,” but that does not mean the treatment is guaranteed to be completely painless. Some unpleasant choices will have to be made. There is one choice, however, that will represent a great deal of positive climate action while hurting virtually no one:

Ban all cryptocurrencies.

At this point, some of my regular readers are no doubt rolling their eyes and saying to themselves, “Oh, here he goes again,” because my informed contempt for imaginary electric fairy tokens and those who traffic in them is not a new opinion. There was a point where I might have been content to let it go and let cryptocurrency fans suffer the consequences of their gross lack of understanding of capitalism or even basic economics, learning their lesson the hard way by watching all of their actual money evaporate in an enormous Ponzi scheme.

However, it has become clear over the past three years that the climate has passed a tipping point, and the dire consequences that we believed would not occur until the latter half of this century or even next are already upon us. Because cryptocurrency is a significant source of the environmental destruction that is causing those, we do not have the luxury of waiting for the stupid people to win stupid prizes from playing their stupid game and must put a stop to this nonsense immediately.

The unsustainable economics of cryptocurrency is an entire separate topic; we’ll…


Iran to test ‘national cryptocurrency’ and rectify central bank law

Iran’s “national cryptocurrency” will before long enter its pilot phase, as of late appointed Central Bank of Iran (CBI) governor Ali Salehabadi has uncovered. Addressing journalists after his first gathering with lawmakers,, the senior official said the regulator is presently studying possible risks and advantages of the drive. Quoted by IRIB News and the Financial Tribune, he explained: ”The pilot trial will start as soon as the Money and Credit Council approves it.” Salehabadi, who has headed the CBI since Oct. 6, didn’t give further insights regarding Iran’s national bank (CBDC) digital currency. As indicated by the English language business every day, the new phase of the project is likely to be in accordance with past plans to develop a national crypto.

It turned clear that the digital model of the Islamic Republic’s nationwide fiat, the rial, was being developed on a non-public blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies based mostly on public blockchains reminiscent of Bitcoin, the Iranian state-issued coin will not be going to be mined.

The report notes that three years in the past the Informatics Services Corporation, CBI’s subsidiary working the nation’s banking automation and cost companies community, was tasked to develop a sovereign digital foreign money. A CBDC prototype was designed utilizing the Hyperledger Fabric platform, later statements by its representatives revealed.

The public was by no means up to date on the progress of this preliminary project till newer bulletins got here out {that a} “crypto rial” plan is underway. Officials have emphasised that the Iranian crypto goes to be a digital foreign money circulated by the CBI and never a decentralized cryptocurrency that could possibly be used for small, cashless transactions, the publication particulars.

Governor Salehabadi additionally stated {that a} particular working group can be fashioned to make clear the positions of the financial institution and the federal government…


Iran to Pilot ‘National Cryptocurrency,’ Amend Central Bank Law – Finance Bitcoin News

The central bank of Iran is gearing up to begin the pilot phase of its digital currency project in the near future, its new head announced to representatives of local media. The monetary authority is also preparing to move forward with a plan to reform the legislation that governs its own activities.

Iran Preps Pilot for Sovereign Digital Currency

The “national cryptocurrency” of Iran will enter its pilot stage soon, the recently appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) Ali Salehabadi has unveiled. Speaking to reporters after his first meeting with lawmakers, the high-ranking official said the regulator is now studying potential risks and benefits associated with the initiative. Quoted by IRIB News and the Financial Tribune, he explained:

The pilot trial will start, once the Money and Credit Council approves it.

Salehabadi, who has been heading the CBI since Oct. 6, did not provide any further details regarding the Iranian central bank digital currency (CBDC). According to the English-language business daily, the new phase of the project is likely to be in line with earlier plans for the development of a national crypto.

The report notes that three years ago the Informatics Services Corporation, CBI’s subsidiary operating the country’s banking automation and payment services network, was tasked to develop a sovereign digital currency. A CBDC prototype was designed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform, later statements by its representatives revealed.

It became clear that the digital version of the Islamic Republic’s national fiat, the rial, was being developed on a private blockchain. Unlike cryptocurrencies based on public blockchains such as Bitcoin, the Iranian state-issued coin is not going to be mined.

The public was never updated on the progress of this initial project until more recent announcements came out that a “crypto rial” plan is underway. Officials have emphasized that the Iranian crypto is going to be a digital…


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