Cryptocurrency appears to be gaining traction among governments seeking to establish their own digital currencies, despite questions regarding the potential volatility associated with it. Currently, the countries that have already created digital currencies include China, Ecuador, Senegal, Singapore, and Tunisia, with Estonia, Japan, Palestine, Russia, and Sweden potentially following suit. Even a small country like the Marshall Islands has announced its intent to create its own digital currency in order to boost its economy, and will be on part with the U.S. dollar as a form of payment. What seemed like a novel thought exercise as to whether cryptocurrency could be a legitimate alternative to the established norm appears to be an option that governments are more closely considering. In fact, some have speculated that further adoption of the country-specific cryptocurrencies could have serious implications for the established international monetary system.
Whether that transpires remains another intellectual exercise in the possibilities of what “could-be” one thing is clear – states on the receiving end of stringent economic sanctions are turning to cryptocurrency as a way to assuage these penalties. One of these countries is Iran, who is reported to be very interested in creating a digital currency, a major shift from its initial stance on banning banks from dealing in cryptocurrency . According to one news source, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace envisaged the use of cryptocurrencies to “smoothen trade” between Iran and its partners in the wake of renewed U.S-imposed sanctions. The same individual revealed that a state-backed cryptocurrency was accepted as an industry in the government and related organizations such as the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Trade, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance.