Iran to Launch its Digital Rial CBDC into Public Pilot Phase

Central Bank Digital Currencies, or CBDCs, are picking up the pace in several nations around the world, and Iran is one of them. In the coming days, the country will gradually be deploying its ‘digital rial’ virtual currency into a public pilot phase. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) is spearheading the trial phase for the digital rial. As part of this phase, the digital currency will be issued to banking users, as well as to tourists visiting the Kish Island to facilitate digital payments.

The digital rial pilot will be implemented June 21, an official release from the CBI said. For now, the trial will remain limited to the Kish Island.

“By scanning the barcode generated by the provided software, make your purchases with new methods or transfer money to the wallets of other customers,” the release said (translated from Persian).

CBDCs like the digital rial are blockchain-supported digital representations of fiat currencies, that let users process quick online payments. The use of CBDCs can result in the reduction of the dependence of central banks on cash notes, while also logging a permanent trail of the transaction history on the blockchain network.

As per the CBI, the digital rial will not require interbank settlements to facilitate fund transfer between the buyer and the seller. Instead, the funds will instantly be made available to the seller as soon as the purchase operation is completed.

“According to the measures taken, the digital rial facilitates the necessary capacities for the development of programmable or programmable money, which will be the driving engine for the formation of new business models, especially in the e-commerce space and the digital economy of the country.” the CBI said in the release.

At present, India is among nations that are in advanced trial phases of their respective CBDCs. In India, the eRupee CBDC is being distributed in the retail ecosystem. Multiple banks are allowing small group of users to convert some of their money into the CBDC and try it for payments through QR codes linked to the accounts of the fund receivers.

China, Japan, the UK, and Russia are all conducting pilot trials of their respective CBDCs. Most recently, Ethiopia has decided to explore the digital currency technology. In fact, back in 2022, Nigeria launched its eNaira CBDC into mainstream adoption.