Russia Mulls Gold-Backed Crypto for Arms Exports

A senior Russian lawmaker is suggesting Moscow to accept gold-backed cryptocurrency as payment for its arms exports.

A ranking Russian lawmaker has put forward a suggestion for Moscow to accept gold-backed cryptocurrency for payments in Russian arms exports to go around financial sanctions imposed by the West against the Kremlin, reported the official Russian state news agency, Tass.

Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy head of the economic policy Committee of the State Duma, the Russian Parliament’s lower chamber, also proposed the suspension of several treaties with the US, including the non-proliferation of missile technologies, as well as the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons in other countries.

“In order to respond to possible US attempts to thwart deals on Russian weaponry and civilian goods," Gutenev said and added Russia should "consider the possibility of conducting transactions in cryptocurrencies that are linked to the value of gold."

Gutenev did not provide more details about his proposed gold-backed digital currency. At the moment, the most prominent gold-linked digital token was the Royal Mint Gold which was unveiled by the British Royal Mint early this year.

Gutenev went on to say, "It's no secret that serious pressure is being put on Russia, and it will only get worse. It is intended to deal a blow to defense cooperation, including defense exports. We see that the Americans now speak about the possibility of sanctions against the countries that purchase Russian weaponry. We should follow the advice of certain experts, who say that Russia should possibly suspend the implementation of treaties on non-proliferation of missile technologies, and also follow the US example and start deploying our tactical nuclear weapons in foreign countries. It is possible that Syria, where we have a well-protected airbase, may become one of those countries.”

Washington imposed sanctions against Moscow in May, particularly against six Russian companies which were accused of violating the two nations’ treaty against weapons of mass destruction and non-proliferation.

Last week, the Trump administration unveiled more sanctions against Russia over its alleged participation in the March 4 poisoning of former GRU Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, near London. The US State Department accused Russia of breaching the

Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities announced yesterday a plan to start keeping a tab on cryptocurrency transactions, in particular, those with Bitcoin and the crypto wallets of its citizens for financial monitoring.