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Consequences of blocking the portal of digital currency exchanges; Exclusive interview with Abbas Ashtiani

In an exclusive interview with Digital Currency, Abbas Ashtiani, Chairman of the Blockchaink and Currency Commission of the Iranian Computer Guild Organization, explained the details of the commission’s meeting with members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly yesterday (May 16th).

According to Ashtiani, the meeting was held around the recent letter of the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly to the Central Bank in order to block the payment gateways providing services to digital asset exchange platforms. He also cited another misunderstanding at the meeting on “Domestic digital exchange platforms»And considering it as«Digital currency exchangeHe stated that this issue has led to the misdiagnosis of the Central Bank as the legislator in this area.

The meeting was held at 3 pm on Sunday, May 16 at the Presidium of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, in which two of Mr. Qalibaf’s advisers, Mr. Ghasemi and Mr. Ghorbanzadeh, two members of the Economic Commission, Mr. Rezakhah and Mr. Tavangar Mr. Bahraini, as the representative of the private sector, Abbas Ashtiani as the representative of the Blockchaink and Password Commission of the Computer Industry Organization, representatives of the Nasr Organization of Tehran, representatives of the Association of Blockchain Technologists and also representatives of the Fintech Association were present.

Abbas Ashtiani said about the general issues raised in this meeting:

There was a lot of talk in this meeting; Among other things, a clear and well-formed framework for regulation was determined, according to which, in the first stage, the Islamic Consultative Assembly was supposed to provide explanations about the philosophy of DLT or the distributed general office, and then we entered the definition of digital assets; Because cryptocurrencies are in fact part of digital assets, and as I mentioned, even IFRS, as the foundation of International Accounting Standards (which Iran also adheres to), makes digital assets an independent part of the classroom. Assets are placed alongside the real estate market, stocks, precious metals and foreign exchange.

He added that the meeting addressed the governance concerns regarding digital assets in full:

After talking about the DLT philosophy and the definitions and classification of digital assets, governance concerns such as the concern of vacancies in exchange platforms, the concern of capital outflows, the concern of fraud and other issues were examined, as well as the complete division of the domain into different dimensions. Done. Among them, the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies includes various dimensions such as central bank cryptocurrency, digital asset exchange or platforms, digital asset extraction, education, data security, payment, and various other areas that are better All these aspects should be examined in the final plan of the parliament.

The head of Nasr Organization’s Blockchain and Currency Code Commission explained the need to determine the right regulator for this area:

At this meeting, according to the definitions and nature and different dimensions of digital assets, it was decided to review the competence of various institutions for regulation to finally determine which regulatory body this issue is related to; Because we, like many countries, believe that a superior body governing the stock exchange, the bank and the country’s insurance should make a decision on this issue, and specifically referring all regulatory issues to the central bank is one of the mistakes that has happened so far. .

Ashtiani said about the history of the Central Bank in legislating in this area:

The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in cooperation with the private sector, had introduced instructions (independent of the licensing framework and based on self-regulation mechanism) for exchange platforms, which unfortunately were not implemented, but after referring it to the National Cyberspace Center and implicit approval and notification. Confidential document by this center, the meetings were again held in secret and without the presence of private sector representatives, and at the same time as receiving the letter from Mr. Qalibaf, the esteemed Speaker of the Parliament, on May 12, they announced their intention to block the gates.

Ashtiani called the issue of blocking payment gateways for digital asset exchange platforms in the country a dangerous decision to the detriment of the Blockchain ecosystem as well as the country as a whole:

Blocking payment gateways for useful and transparent business digital asset exchange platforms within the country will cause widespread and dangerous social and economic damage, first to the ecosystem and then to the country as a whole. One of the most important of these harms is the outflow of people’s cryptocurrencies from secure and secure platforms inside the country and their migration to foreign wallets or platforms, which will lead to the fear of freezing users’ assets at any time. On the other hand, the mushrooming of the abusers of this space will be accompanied by false advertisements, devaluation of assets, creation of queues for sale and improper purchase inside the exchange platforms and many other dissatisfactions, which will ultimately lead to nothing but the violation of people’s rights and consumers. .

According to Ashtiani, the meeting raised concerns of the government in the field of digital assets, which seemed quite logical; But as we have said many times, the proposed solution will have catastrophic consequences:

Sovereignty concerns seem perfectly valid, reasonable and reasonable; But the decision to block the payment gateways has very bad consequences, which is completely contrary to the wishes and concerns of the government. This means that not only does it not alleviate these concerns, but it intensifies them in other respects and can create a huge opportunity for the country.

He further added:

All the issues mentioned, including the consequences and short-term threats to block payment gateways, as well as the short-term solution to address concerns, including the emergence of deficiencies and the issue of insurance and guarantees by digital asset exchange platforms, were also discussed at the meeting. Parliament arrived.

Mr. Ashtiani finally summarized the speeches made at this meeting on two specific issues; The first issue is to understand this technology and choose the best regulator for it:

The first issue was how the form and nature of the comprehensive parliament plan on cryptocurrencies should be. According to our proposal, this plan was examined by examining the dlt philosophy, defining digital assets (as assets and not just currency), examining the governance approach, and categorizing dimensions. Various and finally check the qualifications of the regulators. Accordingly, for example, it can be seen that the regulation of digital assets (because all of them are classified in the asset class and not in the currency class) is not the responsibility of the central bank and is closer to the tasks of the stock exchange and securities organization.

The second issue was the letter of Mr. Qalibaf, the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, the consequences of which were explained to the Assembly and short-term solutions were provided.

In summary, the governance concerns raised at the meeting included money laundering, speculation, currency outflows, security and guarantee requirements, and revenue and tax considerations. It was also decided to examine the issue of blockchain and digital currencies from aspects such as wallets, exchange platforms, digital currency extraction, entrepreneurship and startups, researchers and influencers, payment and acceptance services, infrastructure and developers, and digital asset tax.

Consequences of blocking the portal of digital currency exchanges;  Exclusive interview with Abbas Ashtiani
A picture of the issues raised in the meeting of MPs with representatives of businesses active in the field of digital currency and blockchain Source: Twitter @MediaManager_ir

According to Ashtiani, in the end, while officially warning about the unfortunate economic and social consequences of this order and its consequences, the delegates were informed that there are short-term solutions to these concerns and it is better to postpone the discussion of blocking payment gateways as soon as possible. .


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