According to a report by the Iranian news agency for employment, the deputy governor of the Central Bank of Iran said that CBDCs could help the country resolve financial inconsistencies, which is why Iran is planning to launch a pilot project shortly. Development of a sovereign digital currency in Iran began in 2018 at the Informatics Services Corporation, the executive arm of the CBI. The development phase has been completed and a pilot project will be launched shortly. However, CBI didn't reveal many details about the time frame. The Iranian CBDC was reportedly developed using the Hyperledger Fabric platform hosted by the Linux Foundation. Cointelegraph reached out to Hyperledger for comment, but has not received a response at the time of publication. Iran has experienced significant financial and economic difficulties due to the heavy economic sanctions imposed by the United States.
Amidst these problems, Iran turned to cryptocurrencies and was among the first countries to legalize Bitcoin (BTC) mining in hopes of reviving the economy. However, it has had to temporarily shut down its mining operations on numerous occasions due to severe power shortages and blackouts. Iran is also trying to use cryptocurrencies for international trade, in hopes of circumventing trade sanctions. As Cointelegraph reported, CBI and the Ministry of Commerce have reached an agreement to link the CBI's payment platform to a trading system that allows businesses to settle payments using cryptocurrencies. At present, nearly 100 nations are working on a sovereign digital currency, while only a handful of them have reached the pilot stage. China is currently at the forefront - it completed its CBDC development in 2019 and is currently testing it en masse in various provinces and retail sectors. France and Switzerland have carried out several cross-border pilot projects. South Korea, Japan and Russia are expected to carry out trials in 2022, while the United States is still under discussion. According to the Atlantic CBDC tracker, nine countries have already launched their CBDC, 14 are in the pilot phase, 16 are in development, 41 countries are still doing research, and two countries have canceled their CBDC plans.