No Place for Stablecoins in Russian Economy, Only Digital Ruble Will Do
The central bank of state aggressor Russia, says he is against the idea of citizens using fiat, oil or gold pegged stablecoins – despite calls for the launch of such tokens since the Ministry of Finance.
The Vedomosti newspaper cited a Central Bank spokesperson insisted that “private” stablecoins carry “increased levels of risk” because “the underlying asset pool does not belong to the owner”.
The bank was responding to Ivan Chebeskov’s recent comments at Russian Creative Week, a summit of national creative industry players. Chebeskov is the head of the ministry’s financial policy department and answered a question from an attendee about the need for Russian stablecoins following his speech at the event.
Chebeskov said that “in general” he was in favor of launching such tokens “if a company or an investor needs to pay or invest in this way.”
“If they need new tools like these, we will always support such initiatives. This is the right way to go if we want to develop [new] Technology.”
But the Central Bank warned that in the case of stablecoins, repayment of these tokens “at the face value of the assets used as collateral is not guaranteed.” The spokesperson added that “the price of stablecoins, in fact, is not very stable.”
The ministry, meanwhile, claimed that Russian stablecoins could be tied to a range of “stable physical assets,” such as the fiat ruble, gold, oil or grain. Critics may well counter that all of these assets have seen more than mild price volatility in recent months – and it might be an overstatement to call them “stable”.
The ministry has been at odds with the bank for several years over the crypto issue. The ministry is in favor of legalizing crypto-assets, mainly because it would help local businesses grow, encourage technology development in the private sector, and increase tax revenue. He wants to legalize crypto mining, trading and exchanges – and make companies and individuals pay taxes on their earnings.
The bank, meanwhile, opposes all of this – as it claims that opening the door to crypto will eventually undermine the ruble and create an “underground” economy.
The bank’s spokesperson added that “the only form of legal tender in Russia is the ruble”, and reiterated that he considers the digital ruble “a preferred alternative to private stablecoins”.
A Central Bank-run digital fiat would “combine all the benefits of a digital payment method with the reliability of a full-fledged currency,” the spokesperson added.
Private sector representatives, however, lamented the lack of domestic stablecoins. The report noted that there is no blockchain-powered ruble-pegged stablecoin currently in circulation.
A participant in a session held during Russian Creative Week reportedly said that US dollar-pegged stablecoins allow the United States to “strengthen its position in the global economy” because “to buy cryptocurrency”, people “often need to buy dollars.
A ruble-pegged token could help bolster Russian fiat in the same way, the attendee noted.
The Central Bank has made some small concessions to the ministry in recent months, but the stalemate may still be difficult to break.
The bank said it was not opposed to the idea of Russian companies using crypto in international settlements – provided the coins are converted to fiat after receipt and therefore kept out of the economy Russian.
But the potential for crypto to be used in the world of global commerce is “limited,” the report notes, “particularly with sanctions” limiting traders’ options on this front.
The Central Bank has also softened its stance on crypto mining. She says she is ready in principle to allow the legalization of the sector. But again, there’s a catch here: the bank will only approve the measure if miners agree to sell all the tokens they earn on foreign-based platforms — another big challenge at the moment. era of sanctions due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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