Iran’s interior ministry has suspended the Iran Blockchain Association over alleged breaches of government regulations and allegedly operating at variance with its own articles of association, the Financial Tribune reports.

Fast facts:

  • Farsi-language news outlet Hamshahri Online reported that the IBA was ordered to submit detailed financial reports to the government to reveal more about its dealings with cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • The IBA was established in 2017 as a self-regulating industry body to spread awareness of cryptocurrency in the country — particularly in order to protect against scams. IBA chief Sepehr Mohammed said in a press release that the government notice had been made public before the IBA itself had been informed. Mohammed also said he believed the reason for the ban could been an IBA warning against a list of crypto-related businesses it had identified as high-risk.
  • Earlier this month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a national cabinet meeting he believed strong crypto regulation was needed to “preserve and protect national interests”. Iran banned crypto mining last month after the energy-intensive process was blamed for a series of blackouts in several cities. The ban is expected to remain in place until late September.
  • A recent study by the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Industries & Mining found that roughly 12 million of Iran’s almost 83 million citizens had invested in cryptocurrencies. A similar study conducted by the High Council of Cyberspace showed that Bitcoin trade in Tehran was worth 30-40 trillion rials, the equivalent of US$130 million to US$174 million.