The board of the Central Bank opposes introducing cryptocurrencies into the national monetary system, but agrees to implement them in international trade

Recently, the Russian Government has shown itself to be more flexible and interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. A few weeks ago, the Government of this country decided to perform blockchain tests in its territory and has even opened the doors to disruptive technologies such as augmented reality, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The Governor of the country’s Central Bank, admitted that the agency will consider creating a gold-backed cryptocurrency to facilitate transactions between the country and other nations, according to what she said during a meeting in the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

In this sense, Elvira Nabiullina, Director of the institution, will review a proposal for the creation of the asset backed by gold. “We will, of course, consider the proposal about what is a cryptocurrency backed by gold. But, in my opinion, it is more important to develop agreements in national currencies”, she said.

However, according to the report published by the Russian news agency TASS, the country’s Central Bank is willing to consider the proposal as part of economic cooperation agreements between nations.

Although the news that the Central Bank of Russia is considering to create a cryptocurrency may be surprising, due to the hostile attitude that the Government has taken over the past few years, the fact is that this and other possibilities are being studied presumably to face economic sanctions of the United States.

Nabiullina did not say that this new cryptocurrency would be included in the nation’s internal monetary system, since it would only be used for international trade, something similar to Venezuela’s idea with Petro. “In general, we oppose the introduction of cryptocurrencies into our monetary system. We do not see the possibility that cryptocurrencies can act as currency substitutes. Definitely not in this part”.

During her speech, Nabiullina added that the systems of liquidation of the fiat currency within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) present good dynamics and have improved considerably.

According to the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation, the Government is interested in promoting the adoption of these technologies. For this reason, it chose four regions of the country to start testing under a regulatory sandbox, a more flexible legal environment for innovation compared with federal laws.

Attempt of Regulation

At the beginning of 2019, the member states of The Eurasian Economic Union received a report from the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) related to cryptocurrencies, with the aim of achieving regulation in the area.

According to the TASS report, the Minister in charge of the Development of Integration and Macroeconomics of the EEC, Tatyana Valovaya, comments: “We have prepared an analytical report and we will present it soon, which will analyze what cryptocurrencies are, what is happening in the world, what approaches countries have, what regulation is provided”.

Similarly, the minister stressed that, if the trend of cryptocurrencies and the development of blockchain is accelerating, “we must realize that. A group of experts from the five countries has been trained within the EAEU platform”.

The advance of blockchain technology and the adoption of cryptocurrencies in other countries have led Russia to accept these assets in international trade. Deciding to use these digital currencies internally will depend on the progress of the crypto world in other countries and the needs of Russia in particular.

By María Rodríguez


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