At the on-going 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit in Malaysia, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for the creation of a common cryptocurrency for Muslim countries. He also proposed that Muslim countries should enter into joint ventures to provide training in the latest technologies to their citizens and to invest in promising start-ups.
Iran has been put under severe economic sanctions by the US government under President Trump. It is looking at adopting cryptocurrency to escape the sanctions regime under which only eight countries in the world are allowed to trade with. The sanctions have severely affected its banking facilities. In February, it launched its gold-backed stablecoin Peyman.
A common cryptocurrency, even if only among the Muslim countries, will go a long way in allowing Iran to interact with outside economies despite the sanctions. It should be noted that Venezuela launched its cryptocurrency to escape US sanctions.
Iran’s proposal for common cryptocurrency would create an alternative to the dollar, which dominates international payments.
Apart from Rouhani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also put forward proposals for greater cooperation among Muslim countries. He stressed the importance of growth and development of Islamic Banking and suggested that a Working Group should be set up to study his proposal.
Erdogan also agreed with Rouhani that Islamic countries should invest in technology and innovation. He pointed out that drones developed by Turkey are considered to be the best in the world.
Replying to a question, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad said that the summit would lead to concrete agreements among the participating countries in the fields of education, science, and business. He also emphasized that there could be no development without stability.