Iran prepares cryptocurrency as US cuts SWIFT services
Iranian access to the SWIFT financial system has now been cut off as part of US sanctions against the regime. While the SWIFT system is supposed to be an independent entity, the US has demonstrated its influence and control over it in this instance, leading critics to more actively support pursuit of alternate protocols not directly connected to the US out of the reach of the U.S. Many politicians and economists have called for an alternatives, with one stating that “the sooner the rest of the world develops an alternate parents system – possibly working through SWIFT, but using a basket of currencies as the basis for a supra-national unit of exchange – the better.” Another critic stated that “the US puzzlingly seems to want to expedite global de-dollarization with its ill-advised weaponization of SWIFT.” Regardless of the potential issues the move might create for the US, Iran is now left without access to the world’s most significant method of banking and is trying to find its own alternatives. One is the digital Rial cryptocurrency that is still in its testing phase. It will soon be launched as a means of interbank exchanges before its application expands. Although reports have not yet surfaced of its activity, the country may begin collecting or using Bitcoin and gold.