Details Emerge on Iran’s XLM-Based Gold-Backed Cryptocurrency

Iran’s new gold-backed cryptocurrency “PayMon” will be technically based on the Stellar Lumens (XLM) network (which is an open-source codebase), and will trade in “special exchange offices.” These details emerged during a Sputnik interview with Hamid Reza Shaabani, founder of Iranian blockchain company ArzDigital.

As CryptoGlobe reported earlier this month, a company called Ghoghnoos (ققنوس - “phoenix” or “gryphon”in Persian) and four national banks are cooperating with Iranian authorities to produce the PayMon system.

The principal aim of PayMon is to provide a way for Iran to trade around US-sponsored sanctions, which have been increasing under Donald Trump’s push to scuttle (and renegotiate) the Obama-era “Iran deal.”

Commenting on the potential fulfilment of gold for tokens, Shaabani said that the “contract with [Ghoghnoos] stipulates that token holders can receive gold, but the details are not clear yet.” He also said that the crypto will be mostly traded by “special exchange offices,” adding that “It's likely that currencies will be traded in major international currency exchange points.”

Golden Ticket

Iran has been seeking to increase its internal mining production of gold and other precious metals such as copper, in the wake of sanctions which partially targeted these items. Gold has been used in past years to get around sanctions, specifically those that predated the Iran Deal. Gold has helped Iran funnel billions of dollars around sanctions, via Turkey and Turkish nationals.

It is little wonder then that the Central Asian country has eventually thawed to the idea of a cryptocurrency, which is capable of transferring value with uncensorable impunity depending on how it is designed.

Iran joins the Venezuelan government among countries to adopt a state-backed crypto, with Russia also playing with the idea - all for the same general purpose of skirting US-backed sanctions.

Also in the realm of centralized, non-public stablecoins, the JPMorgan Chase mega-bank launched its own a few days ago. The coin will not be widely available, with only entities vetted by the bank having access to the private crypto.

Cryptocurrency ATM Operator Gives Hong Kong Protestors Water Paid With BCH Donations

Michael LaVere
  • Crypto ATM provider Genesis Block gave water bottles and umbrellas to protestors in Hong Kong. 
  • Supplies were paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash. 

Cryptocurrency hub Genesis Block has taken an active role in the ongoing Hong Kong protests, by providing water bottles and umbrellas to demonstrators funded with Bitcoin Cash. 

Hong Kong Protests

According to a report by Forbes, the items were paid for with international donations made in bitcoin cash. Genesis Block, which operates cryptocurrency ATMs in the region, included BCH QR codes on the supplies to allow protestors to further contribute. The umbrellas were given as a symbolic nod to the 2014 ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in Hong Kong, during which hundreds of thousands of residents took to the streets in protest. 

The current movement has extended into its eleventh week of protest, with an estimated 1.7 million people--roughly 25% of the population of Hong Kong--participating in the demonstrations over the weekend. 

Cryptocurrency advocates have been taking an interest in the region’s struggle for autonomy against China, with many seeing a connection to using decentralized currencies in lieu of national fiat. Data from P2P bitcoin exchange LocalBitcoins shows that citizens of Hong Kong are paying an average of $300 or more in premium to purchase bitcoin. 

The ongoing struggle in Hong Kong has also contributed to the brewing atmosphere of distrust in centralized systems, which some analysts are predicting will help adoption for crypto.

A report from Delphi Digital at the beginning of the month called these global economic factors a potential “perfect storm” for the price of bitcoin leading into the second half of the year.