For a country adversely affected by sanctions, saving its cash cow is an important step that needs to be taken and for Iran virtual currency together with its pillar blockchain present it with a way out of the sanctions. It’s a matter of saving its cash cow that generated $3.3 billion to $3.5 billion a while back after the ban imposed where lifted from 2015 to 2016. However, with the new sanctions, the Iranian Rial has taken a plug downwards leading to the native currency losing 60% of its value in 2018 alone. Though the currency is losing, tourists are still flying in; however, the problem is accessing financial services.
Crypto to Save the Sector
With both the private and public sector at the leading front, Iran’s tourism sector is set to receive an uplift. The Tourism Organization and Handicrafts (CHTO), and Cultural Heritage are the firms leading the implementation of crypto.
Efforts being made
While the above two organizations are spearheading the implementation of crypto, the CHTO earlier had divulged plans to work with India on creating a joint currency fund for the tourism sector. Furthermore, Hassam Ansari Iran Electronic Tourism Association board chair had proposed creating a state-backed digital currency to help fight sanctions. While his proposals are under review, some experts in Iran are against the thought of having a state-backed coin for the tourism sector. Apart from that, the government has been working on legal frameworks to prevent the use of widely accepted digital coins the likes of bitcoin.
While the government together with local organizations are looking to have crypto facilitate payment in the tourism sector, there is already a platform in place that’s facilitating payment in crypto for tourists IranByBit. The latter is led by Ziya Sadr who is a research and also doubles up as a developer. For him, it’s a wrong move for the government to go with state-backed crypto against other well-established coins like BTC. The latter will give tourists broad access to a lot of payment options since it’s a widely accepted coin that is accessible to many, unlike a new digital coin. Going by IranByBit performance in the few months it’s been active, using BTC and the likes will provide tourists with ample access to financial services. IranByBit provides tourists with debit cards, sim cards, accommodation among other services and accept payment in cash and BTC.