Russian president Vladimir Putin has officially stated that Russia is to issue the national virtual currency, the CryptoRuble, demonstrating the country’s approach to blockchain technology. The news was announced at a closed door meeting in Moscow. The details still remain unclear, but Nikolay Nikiforov, Russian Minister of Communications, has revealed some useful points.
According to Nikolay Nikiforov, the national cryptocurrency cannot be mined. It will be issued, maintained and controlled by the country’s authorities like ordinary currency. Although CryptoRuble will be centralized, it does appear to be blockchain-based.
It can be exchanged for regular Rubles at any time, but if the holder is unable to explain where the CryptoRubles came from, a 13 percent tax will be levied.The same tax will be imlemented to any gain earned on a difference between the price of purchase and the price of sale.
Nikolay Nikiforov commented:
“When buying and selling a cryptoruble, the amount will be 13% from the earned difference…If the owner can not explain the reason for the appearance of his cryptorubles, when converting them into Russian rubles, the tax for him will be 13% of the total.”
The reason why CryptoRuble should be issued now Nikolay Nikiforov explained in the following way:
“I confidently declare that we run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after 2 months our neighbors in the EurAsEC will.”
Nikiforov believes that the new currency will be issued in a short period of time. He also mentioned that the efficiency of CryptoRuble will “streamline the payment of personal income tax,” which would make the new currency legal tender in Russia.
The decision to launch CryptoRuble was made after Putin’s meeting with Russia’s top regulators that was held last week. The president insisted that the central bank would not create any barriers to cryptocurrencies.
The idea of Russian national virtual currency has been developed for months. In June this year, Olga Skorobogatova, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia, stated at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2017:
“Regulators of all countries have come to the conclusion that it is necessary to do a national virtual currency.”
Coincidentally, at the same forum Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum co-founder. The topic of their discussion wasn’t clear, but a bit later, in August, it was reported that Buterin was working on the adoption of blockchain technology in Russia.
The fact that Russian authorities are ready to enter the cryptocurrency market still doesn’t mean an affirmation or legalization of Bitcoin or any other decentralized cryptocurrency. Nevertheless, some steps towards the cryptoworld has already been taken. Let’s remember Russian startups running ICOs or Blockchain Economics program in Russia’s Leading IT-university.
According to some experts’ predictions, there is a slight possibility of Russia’s legalizing decentralized digital currency after in April 2017 Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister unveiled that Bitcoin may become a legal payment method by 2018. Still, no concrete actions has been done.