The Chairwoman of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina, told reporters recently that the bank is considering launching its own currency. It is currently “studying opportunities,” she said.
Russia’s Central Bank is actively considering launching its own cryptocurrency, according to recent reports. The bank’s chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina said that, although we can’t expect the state-backed cryptocurrency to be launched anytime soon, it is being strongly considered.
TASS Russian News Agency is reporting that the consideration would, first and foremost, have to test the reliability of the technology before anything formal is released. The main purpose would be to keep a ledger of registries for the bank, but could expand to monetary policy.
Nabiullina posed the question to reporters: “Are we as a society ready to give up cash?” Nabiullina believes that the transition towards a digital currency would be a gradual process, but that a state-backed cryptocurrency would make this process easier.
However, Nabiullina stresses that a digital economy does not come without its own drawbacks. By studying countries who have adopted a ‘non-cash economy,’ she says that it is clear some people prefer cash due to its anonymity. “People value their privacy,” she told reporters. Ultimately, the success of a non-anonymous digital currency would require a willing society. As of now, Russia is not ready but might be in the medium- to long-term future.
Nabiullina advised Central Bank’s managing partners to begin examining the benefits of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Russia Has Blockchain on Its Mind
In the past few weeks, Russia has been making headlines for its changing stance on cryptocurrencies.
A week ago, the Agency of the Far East for Investments and Exports (IPA) proposed creating an offshore financial center for cryptocurrency trading on the Russia-Chinese border. The trading hub would be on Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island and would likely be the only economic zone for digital assets anywhere in the world.
It was also reported this week that state-owned Russian Railways will be launching a blockchain pilot program.
It is clear that Russian authorities on the highest level are actively considering digital assets. The country’s officials likely see it as a means to decouple its economy from the U.S. dollar amidst rising tensions.
Do you anticipate the Russian Central Bank to actually put out a digital currency? Let us know your thoughts on this story below.
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