Russia: Former Energy Minister Proposes Development of Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency

Igor Yusufov, a former Russian Energy Minister, has reportedly proposed the development of an oil-backed cryptocurrency to the State Duma, at a time in which the lower house of the country’s Federal Assembly is planning to review and adopt cryptocurrency regulations.

According to local news outlet Rambler, the construction of a roadmap for the oil-backed cryptocurrency is nearing a “final stage.” The cryptocurrency’s introduction, according to Yusufov, could affect the USD’s influence in the international community, and could help countries deal with the fluctuations of fiat currencies.

His proposal seemingly includes the creation of a cryptocurrency settlement system for oil, gas, and other natural resources. This would allow countries to save on currency exchange commissions, and avoid trade restrictions. Those who would benefit the most from the system, he said, are the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

He was quoted as saying:

Perhaps the oil-backed cryptocurrency will be the pioneering project that will create a reliable structure for the cryptographic market as a whole.

This, as blockchain technology would allow parties to verify every step of a transaction, without incurring any additional costs. Notably, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has last year revealed he still believes cryptocurrencies are “interesting,” despite the bear market.

According to Rambler’s report, the country is introducing cryptocurrency regulations next month, that are set to “provide blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies the opportunity to develop.” Per Oleg Nikolaev, a member of the Economic Policy Committee at the State Duma, the regulations are nearly finished as well.

Oil, Gold-Backed Cryptocurrencies

To some, Russia’s oil-backed cryptocurrency plans resemble those of Venezuela, which launched its own oil-backed crypto through an initial coin offering (ICO), called the Petro. The controversial cryptocurrency was criticized by the country’s National Assembly at the time

While initial reports suggested the cryptocurrency hasn’t been circulating, looking into showed that its blockchain is already accessible and the cryptocurrency itself – seemingly a copy of Dash – is transactable.

Interestingly, Iran has launched a gold-backed cryptocurrency called ‘PayMon’ this month. While not a lot is available on it, it’s known it’ll be technically based on the Stellar Lumens (XLM) network, and will trade in “special exchange offices.”