The Russian legislative body Duma has announced government plans to launch a crypto stablecoin pegged to the ruble.
Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the Duma Committee on Financial Markets, says the Crypto Ruble would not aim to compete with other cryptocurrencies but would be for public use across the country.
Russia’s government is at the front of the queue when it comes to the idea of national cryptocurrencies, along with Venezuela, although its Petro coin fails the altcoin test according to critics who say it is not decentralised and lacks functionality. It is considered to be a President Nicolas Maduro strategy to circumvent Washington sanctions to raise US dollars for the country’s ailing economy.
A state crypto for foreign trade?
Russian government officials expect the Crypto Ruble to be accepted by other countries that are allies or at least not involved in sanctions against Moscow.
Aksakov also spoke of Russia and how it was banned from SWIFT by the US. Moscow responded by creating their own payments system.
“Our domestic system (called SPFS) for the transfer of financial messages already has more users than SWIFT,” he says. “Talks with China, Iran, Turkey and a number of other countries are currently underway to coordinate our system with their systems.”
He adds that the Crypto Ruble will combine well with their SPFS. He firmly believes countries trading and doing other business with Russia will see the benefits of using their payments system along with the Crypto Ruble.
Russia seeks international crypto rules
Last week, the country’s Financial Monitor Service (FMS) Deputy Director Pavel Livadny reached out to the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to request an intergovernmental initiative that could control the supply and flow of cryptocurrencies. He cited money laundering as one of the main concerns.
In September, Vladimir Putin’s Special Representative on Digital and Technological Development Dmitry Peskov said Russia was not ready for the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrency.
“From the start, we have not legally suppressed blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and are trying to bring them into a normative space,” he said. “But the government must give fair warning, that there is a high risk of ending up with an MMM 2.0 [famous pyramid scheme that existed in the 1990s].”