The Central Bank of Iran and the Russian government are reportedly working together to jointly issue a new stablecoin backed by gold.
According to Alexander Brazhnikov, executive director of the Russian Association of Crypto Industry and Blockchain, the stablecoin will be used as a payment method in foreign trade, enabling cross-border transactions instead of traditional fiat currencies like the US dollar, Russian ruble, or Iranian rial.
This new cryptocurrency, referred to as a “token of the Persian Gulf region,” will reportedly operate in a special economic zone in Astrakhan, where Russia has already started accepting Iranian cargo shipments.
However, the project is dependent on the digital asset market being fully regulated in Russia. Russian lawmaker Anton Tkachev, a member of the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications, stated that it will only be possible to launch this project once the crypto market is regulated in Russia.
Both Iran and Russia have banned their residents from using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and stablecoins like Tether (USDT) for payments.
However, they have been actively working to adopt crypto as a tool for foreign trade. In August 2022, Iran’s Industry, Mines and Trade Ministry approved the use of cryptocurrency for imports into the country as a way to mitigate the effects of international trade sanctions.
Iran subsequently placed its first international import order using $10 million worth of crypto.
It’s worth noting that both countries have been looking for ways to bypass the sanctions imposed by the US and other countries.
The creation of a gold-backed stablecoin would be an important step in this direction as it would provide a way to conduct cross-border trade without relying on the US dollar. However, it remains to be seen when and if the stablecoin will be officially issued.