The Russian central bank wants to prepare its domestic market for the issuance of a digital ruble. Apparently, the authorities plan to limit, for example, the use of stablecoins in settlements.
Central bank vs. stablecoins
According InterfaxIvan Zimin, head of the central bank’s financial technology department, spoke at a banking-related meeting organized by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. He discussed, among others, an act promulgated on January 1 this year. It is about the first Russian law on cryptocurrencies. Recall that it has banned the use of cryptocurrencies in settlements. Zimin added that it was just “first step”. The new target will be stablecoins.
– We will most likely take the second step by limiting use [stablecoinów] for settlements. It is very important. Digital ruble and ruble in general [będą] official means of payment. Everything else – stablecoins, unsecured private cryptocurrencies, or other money substitutes – will not be allowed to be used as a means of payment – He said.
The digital ruble and the stablecoins of companies
Russia’s central bank hopes to release its digital currency next year, with a “prototype” ready by the end of autumn 2021.
The case of stablecoins may, however, arouse contradictory reactions from the authorities and large companies in the country. For example, Sberbank – at least partly owned by the Russian state – recently revealed its own plans to issue its stablecoin.
In turn, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma financial markets committee, stated that he was “Intrigued” Zimin’s comments on stablecoins, especially in light of the Sberbank project, which is scheduled to start before the end of spring.
– From my perspective, we need discussions with technical experts, economists and bankers [na temat regulacji stablecoinów] – He said.
Interfax also quoted Aksakov, who explained that current legislation in Russia does not classify stablecoins as “Digital currencies“. Instead, the law considers them to be “Digital financial assets”and therefore not an illegal form of billing.
– I would not call stablecoin a cryptocurrency if we referred to the definition contained in the Digital Financial Assets Act. There, a digital currency is defined as having no security whatsoever. On the other hand, stablecoin has collateral, so it cannot be a digital currency Aksakov said.