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TEHRAN: Iran’s central bank has banned the country’s banks from dealing in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, over money-laundering concerns, the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday as the country tries to halt a currency crisis.

“Banks and credit institutions and currency exchanges should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them,” IRNA said, quoting a central bank circular based on a ban on cryptocurrencies passed by Iran’s anti-money laundering body in December.

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Iran moved this month to formally unify its official and open market exchange rates and banned money changing outside of banks, after its currency, the rial, plunged to an all-time low on concerns about a possible return of crippling sanctions.

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