Russian State Duma Committee Mulls Central Bank-Issued Crypto Pegged to the Ruble

Kevin O'Brien

Speaking at a press conference concerning rising national debt, a Russian State Duma committee leader did not rule out the possibility of a central bank-issued stablecoin coming into existence.

Financial Market head Anatoly Aksakov noted how he was “convinced…a secured cryptocurrency” would appear, according to Russian media. Aksakov reportedly explained the cryptocurrency would be issued by the Central Bank and would have a 1:1 peg with the Russian Ruble, the country’s fiat currency.

The comments made by Aksakov come a week or so after a Russian mining and smelting company announced it would be coming out with a stablecoin. Kommersant reported how Norilsk Nickel was launching a stablecoin backed by metals to give the

"Market a cryptoasset with less volatility than the well-known cryptocurrency [bitcoin], and a more obvious connection with real values.”

Vladimir Potanin of Norilsk indicated the move would help raise money to finance projects and would be a move towards “a completely new group of investors, since the digital economy offers “…protection from sanctions.”

Will The CryptoRuble Emerge?

Rumors surrounding a purported Russian ‘CryptoRuble’ have carried on throughout 2018. At the start of the year, many were speculating the nation was exploring the creation of  the cryptocurrency to get around sanctions. Officials inside of the Kremlin reportedly said President Vladimir Putin commissioned people to get working on establishing a cryptocurrency, the Financial Times reported.

Notably Venezuela has already issued an oil-backed cryptocurrency called the Petro (PTR). It's a controversial crypto that some believe as issued to draw in foreign investment and bypass international sanctions. CryptoGlobe recently covered some of the first sales of Venezuela’s Petro. 

It can apparently, according to officials, be purchased from the Superintendency of Cyrptoassets and Related Activities, but the official wallets were removed from the internet after the launch. A few local politicians posted photos of themselves purchasing the cryptocurrency and held up ownership certificates while speaking to reporters.