Russian Central Bank Studies Pros and Cons of National Digital Currency

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The Central Bank of Russia does not have any pronounced position in regard of cryptocurrencies, yet it intends to study pros and cons of creating a government-controlled digital currency, the Central Bank’s deputy chairwoman Olga Skorobogatova stated at Finnopolis 2016 forum in Kazan.

“The global trend is to watch and invest in understanding how to make a national digital currency, because it is safe for a country and its citizens. I believe this thing will actively develop within the next few years, and the Bank of Russia also studies all pros and cons of this thing,” she said.

According to Skorobogatova, there still is no common understanding in Russia as to what cryptocurrency actually is: a security, a financial tool, or digital money.

“We have not come to any unified definition so far. As soon as we understand what it is, we will issue offerings as to what to regulate, and how,” Skorobogatova noted.

She added that ministries of the Russian government may find the final definition three or four months from now.

“Certainly, this is not the tool that may be safe. On the other hand, it would, on the level of the new technologies, enable us to use money directly as virtual, but legal, understood and calculated,” Skorobogatova said.

Meanwhile, the chairman of Russia’s Artiom Tolkachev stated that government regulation of cryptocurrency in Russia may emerge in a year.

“Currently, they are forming a working a group to determine the status of cryptocurrency and establish a regulation for it. Within a year, there will be laws in this part,” he wrote on Facebook.

Tolkachev  added that the government decided not to penalize issuance and usage of cryptocurrencies.

There is no cryptocurrency ban in Russia, however, it has banned issuance of so-called ‘money surrogates.’ Still, Russia’s ministry of finance that had earlier developed a bill penalizing issuance and usage of cryptocurrency, has changed its mind in August and opposed any ‘direct’ ban of bitcoin.

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