The Russian Central Bank is contemplating creating a national cryptocurrency, after seeing multiple benefits it could bring to the country. This follows First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov’s earlier support of introducing the “cryptoruble.” Meanwhile, the bank is skeptical about other cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.
Central Bank in Favor of National Cryptocurrency
According to Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Olga Skorobogatova, the bank sees many benefits of a national cryptocurrency, Tass reported on Thursday.
At a press conference for the Finopolis Forum of Innovative Financial Technologies, she told reporters that “the creation of a national cryptocurrency stimulates the growth of non-cash payments and electronic payments, including, possibly, cross-border payments,” the publication wrote.
Claiming that it would solve the issue of avoiding cash, she added:
It is becoming more convenient for all users to pay for goods and services through electronic wallets, and the digital currency can play the role of a catalyst for using it for payments in a broader sense.
In addition, she said that the central bank will focus on educating the population about cryptocurrencies, citing the recent case of fake bitcoins allegedly sold near a supermarket in Obninsk, a city southwest of Moscow. “The Central Bank will pay more attention to increasing financial literacy in this area in order to minimize basic mistakes,” the bank’s head of Consumer Protection Services, Mikhail Mamuta, said at the forum.
Earlier this week, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the Russian finance ministry proposing to add cryptocurrency to the population’s financial literacy strategy. The strategy, which will be implemented between 2017 and 2023, was jointly developed by the ministry and the World Bank.
In addition, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has also emphasized the need to create a national cryptocurrency in order to strengthen the Russian economy, the Parliamentary Newspaper reported. In an interview with RBC in August, he said:
I am a supporter of cryptocurrencies. I believe that a cryptoruble should exist.
Opposing Other Cryptocurrencies
The central bank has repeatedly spoken against the legalization of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. In the meeting between President Vladimir Putin and representatives of Russian business circles and associations last month, the bank’s governor Elvira Nabiullina said that their legalization “is actually a loss of control over the money flows from abroad.”
Her position reiterates the bank’s previous announcement regarding digital currencies. “Concerning the use of cryptocurrency, according to the current legislation, the official currency of the Russian Federation is the ruble. The issue of monetary surrogates in the territory of the Russian Federation is not allowed,” the bank wrote.
At the forum’s press conference on Thursday, Skorobogatova also pointed out the issue of how the anonymity of cryptocurrencies could be associated with money laundering, adding that “so far no regulator has answered this question.” She then revealed that “the central bank and colleagues from other countries are analyzing possible options for its solution within the framework of the international committee on payment and market systems,” adding that:
At the end of November, the [international] committee will present developed approaches to this and other issues of the cryptocurrency regulation in its first report.
Do you think Russia will introduce a “cryptoruble”? What do you think will happen to bitcoin in Russia if they do? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cbr, Alchetron, and Tass.
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