US Congress seeks sanctions on Iran’s cryptocurrency efforts: report

TEHRAN, Dec. 22 (MNA) – US lawmakers have introduced a bill this week in Congress to undermine Iran’s efforts to develop its own cryptocurrency.

According to New York-based CoinDesk, a news site specializing in bitcoin and digital currencies, Rep. Mike Gallagher has submitted a bill to the US House of Representatives called ‘Blocking Iran Illicit Finance Act’, calling for imposition of sanctions against Iranian financial institutions and the development and use of Iranian digital currency.

The report adds that a corresponding bill was submitted in the Senate by Sen. Ted Cruz, calling for sanctions against those who knowingly provide Iran with funding, services or “technological support, used in connection with the development of Iranian digital currency.”

The move comes a month after the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors following the US unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive Defense Organization, said in October that “cryptocurrencies are untraceable in the financial and monetary system” and as such, can help bypass certain sanctions.

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