Inspired by the possibilities of Bitcoin and Ethereum but strongly skeptical of total decentralization, the Russian Central Bank is currently considering the development of a national cryptocurrency—a cryptoruble, as Russian Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov has dubbed it.
On Thursday, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Olga Skorobogatova spoke at the Finopolis Forum of Innovative Financial Technologies, reflecting on how her bank was scrutinizing a national crypto as a step toward a cashless society.
“The creation of a national cryptocurrency stimulates the growth of non-cash payments and electronic payments, including, possibly, cross-border payments,” Skorobogatova said.
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.”
— www.dreaminers.com (@dreaminers) October 6, 2017
And—in another indication of the seriousness with which the Russian Central Bank is examining the matter—Skorobogatova also noted that the bank’s Consumer Protections Services will soon be initiating crypto-literacy campaigns throughout Russia, surely to prepare the public if a cryptoruble does materialize.
Unsurprisingly, though, the Russian Central Bank is decidedly anti-Bitcoin, with top officials there considering the current #1 crypto to be an unofficial “money surrogate” that’s viable for money laundering.
To this end, a centralized national cryptocurrency would mitigate the bank’s concerns, much to the chagrin of the crypto community, of course, which views such such centralization as antithetical to crypto’s purpose.
Wherever you stand, the fruition of a cryptoruble looks promising for now. In an August interview, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov went all-in:
“I am a supporter of cryptocurrencies. I believe that a cryptoruble should exist.”
And should the Russian Central Bank decide to move forward with the plan, they might look for inspiration in Dubai, where the local government just launched its own cryptocurrency called emCash.
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TLDR: The Russian Central Bank is warming up to the idea of creating a national cryptocurrency, wanting more centralized control in the crypto space than Bitcoin or Ethereum can offer.