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Dr. Phil Steps Into Fray of Natalie Wood Death

September 15, 2018 |

For nearly 40 years, the death of Natalie Wood has remained a mystery. First the 43-year-old actress was ruled to have died of accidental drowning after disappearing from a yacht she was on with husband Robert Wagner and actor Christopher Walken. Then, in 2012, that ruling shifted to drowning plus…
Newser

Steps From Kim Kardashian Robbery, Thieves Hit a Princess

September 11, 2018 |

Police have stepped up their presence in a Paris neighborhood ever since Kim Kardashian endured a frightening jewel robbery in her hotel there in 2016. That didn’t stop another apparent heist on Friday afternoon from the Paris Ritz, where an unnamed Saudi princess said jewels worth more than $ 925,000…
Newser

Iran Steps Up Plan for National Crypto After US Sanctions

August 10, 2018 |

Iran Steps Up Plan for National Crypto After US Sanctions

Right after Washington’s move to impose sanctions that will restrict Iran’s access to US currency, reports came out that Tehran is speeding up the project to develop a national cryptocurrency. Officials in the Islamic Republic believe the state-issued coin could help circumvent the restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.

Also read: New Bill Proposes 5% Tax on Crypto Incomes in Ukraine

Iran to Evade US Sanctions Using Own Crypto

Iran Steps Up Plan for National Crypto After US SanctionsFaced with renewed US sanctions, Iran is accelerating the development of its national crypto as the oil-rich nation is looking for ways around the American restrictions. Despite calls from partners and signatories to the Iran nuclear deal, like the EU, Russia and China, Washington reimposed measures targeting the ability of the Islamic Republic to acquire US dollars and trade in precious metals. The United States urged allies to cut all purchases of Iranian oil and president Trump warned that the sanctions will “ratchet up to yet another level” in November.

Following the news from Washington this week, media reports from Tehran suggested that the Iranian government is now serious about stepping up efforts to finalize the project for an indigenous cryptocurrency. On Wednesday, a day after the Trump administration restored the sanctions, a high ranking Iranian official revealed that President Hassan Rouhani had ordered the country’s central bank to hold a meeting with other relevant authorities to discuss the matter. They are expected to assess the progress in the development of Iran’s digital money at a time when the fiat Rial is plunging.

According to Iranian English language channel Press TV, the announcement was made by the Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, whose department will jointly chair the meeting with the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) scheduled to take place next week. Jahromi noted that the preliminary studies had been carried out already by Iran’s Post Bank, which was charged with overseeing the crypto project.

The CBI, however, is still opposed to the idea of using digital currencies and considers them illegal in Iran. Nevertheless, the minister hinted that this attitude could soon change claiming that the mentality within the Iranian government is currently in favor of cryptocurrencies. Speaking to reporters, he stated:

A new attitude that has been created in the government is that the digital money does not necessarily pose a security threat and can create opportunities for the country.

Iran Steps Up Plan for National Crypto After US SanctionsPost Bank, which is building the Islamic Republic’s electronic payment system, is heading the efforts to develop Iran’s state-sponsored crypto. The financial institution is preparing to hold a tender for the project and all Iranian tech experts have been invited by minister Jahromi to take part in its realization. Post Bank’s governor Khosrow Farahi told IRNA that a comprehensive document on the creation of the Iranian coin, which takes into account all social and economic considerations, is ready to be presented next week.

Changing Attitudes Towards Cryptocurrencies

The latest update on Tehran’s plans in the crypto space comes after a high-ranking Iranian lawmaker said in July that Iran might employ cryptos as part of its efforts to circumvent the upcoming US sanctions. Cryptocurrencies are one of the major mechanisms Iran can use to evade the new sanctions and get rid of the dollar hegemony, Mohammad Reza Pour-Ebrahimi, chairman of the parliamentary Economic Commission, said in an interview with Mizan.

Pour-Ebrahimi’s comments were followed by a statement from the deputy for management and investment affairs at the Directorate for Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Presidential Office, Alireza Daliri, who was quoted by ISNA saying that his department already has a plan to create a national cryptocurrency.

By all indications, the restoration of US sanctions has played a role in changing the attitude of Iranian authorities towards cryptocurrencies, as officials have previously called them unreliable and risky, while the CBI tried to prevent their use. In April, the central bank issued a statement effectively banning financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrency. At the same time, however, the Information and Communications Ministry continued its work on creating a legal framework for the fintech industry and CBI was part of this effort.

What are your expectations about the project to create an Iranian national cryptocurrency? Do you think state-issued coins can help countries like Iran evade sanctions? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


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China Steps Up Crackdown on Christianity

August 8, 2018 |

Under President Xi Jinping, China’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, believers are seeing their freedoms shrink dramatically even as the country undergoes a religious revival. Experts and activists say that as he consolidates his power, Xi is waging the most severe systematic suppression of Christianity in the country since…
Newser

Poland Steps Up Supreme Court Purge

July 18, 2018 |

Poland’s government is drafting new laws to rush its purge of the Supreme Court, racing ahead of efforts by the European Union to halt what authorities in Brussels view as a rapid erosion in rule of law.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Creator of the Trump-Kim ‘Movie Trailer’ Steps Forward

June 13, 2018 |

“Woke up to 100’s of e-mails and calls from all over the world. … Crazzzzy day.” Such was the experience Tuesday of Mark Castaldo, the man who founded California-based Destiny Pictures Productions. Behind the flurry of interest was the four-minute “movie trailer” that President Trump played for Kim Jong Un (watch…
Newser

Xerox CEO Steps Down as Company Reviews Fujifilm Deal

May 2, 2018 |

Xerox’s Chief Executive Jeff Jacobson is resigning in a settlement with two of the company’s biggest investors, Carl Icahn and Darwin Deason, a pact that shakes up the majority of the board and puts its transaction with Fujifilm Holdings Corp. at risk.
WSJ.com: US Business

CNN

The migrant caravan’s next steps may be an even tougher journey

April 22, 2018 |

They stowed away on trains, slept in shelters and marched in protests as they trekked across Mexico.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World

WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell Steps Down

April 15, 2018 |

WPP’s Martin Sorrell is leaving his post as CEO following the conclusion of a probe into an allegation of personal misconduct, ending his more than three decades of leadership atop the world’s largest advertising company.
WSJ.com: US Business

Facebook Takes Steps to Combat Election Interference

April 7, 2018 |

Facebook on Friday announced new moves it says will help combat foreign interference in US elections, the New York Times reports. Going forward, anyone in the US buying political ads on Facebook must submit government-issued ID and a US mailing address. Facebook will later roll the new requirements out to…
Newser