According to local news sources, Russia is set to launch a state-issued cryptocurrency – the ‘CryptoRuble’, after President Vladimir Putin confirmed it during a meeting in Moscow.
The development does not come as a surprise since Russian authorities have shared such intentions in the recent past.
Not only has Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Central Bank of Russia, spoken against the legalization of cryptocurrencies, she also mentioned a national digital currency not too long ago.
“We don't deem it appropriate to legalize cryptocurrencies at Russian exchanges, and we don't endorse its legalization as legal tender. Yet, we see the promise of the blockchain technology that underlies it.
"We're discussing the issue of creating a national digital currency.”
The Minister of Communications, Nikolay Nikiforov, shared the government’s decision to launch the CryptoRuble, and reportedly the digital Ruble will not be “mineable”, like traditional cryptocurrencies.
Instead, the government is going to issue it and it will be exchangeable with fiat Ruble at any time. Interestingly however, there is going to be a 13% tax on any exchanges when CryptoRuble holders can’t account for their origin, or when gains are realized while trading between the crypto and fiat versions of the currency.
According to Nikolay Nikiforov, the reason behind launching CryptoRuble is simple – Russia want’s to be the first mover in what appears to be a natural course of progression as blockchain technology and digital currencies become real concerns.
“I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after 2 months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will,” the Minister of Communications said.
The Russian government has been skeptical of digital currencies; all the way from the head of the Ministry of Economic Development, Maxim Oreshkin, comparing Bitcoin to the country’s largest pyramid scheme – MMM, to the first Deputy Chairman of the country’s Central Bank recommending a lockdown of cryptocurrency exchanges.
“...we can not stand aside, and we can not observe it. Therefore, we are categorically against such phenomena [cryptocurrency pyramid] and will take measures to prevent simple safe access to retail for the acquisition of dubious tools...”
Most recently, we also reported the Finance Minister of Russia, Anton Siluanov’s position on state regulation of cryptocurrencies, a stance that was backed by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin.
“...we agreed that it is necessary for the state to regulate the process of issuing cryptocurrencies, mining, and the circulation. The government should take all this under control.”
Russia’s move towards a state-issued cryptocurrency is unlikely to benefit Bitcoin or other digital assets, but may be a precursor to similar developments from other countries. The future impact of such developments on the general cryptocurrency market remains to be seen.