Bank of Russia
As reported by local news outlet Prime, the Bank of Russia have openly expressed their opposition to a ruble-pegged private stablecoin in an effort to maintain control over the financial landscape.
It is likely that Russia – a nation with centralised political power and influence – will have been dismayed over the past year witnessing the liberal receptiveness of their US competitors in allowing unregulated private currencies to emerge and challenge the integrity and value of the nation’s offering.
It’s clear that Russia has no intention of mirroring the fate of Facebook’s Libra (now called Diem) and the financial fiasco that followed.
First deputy chairman of the Central Bank Sergei Shvetsov expressed plans via a discussion with fellow banking members and participants to introduce legislation which will blanket-ban all assets in this niche class:
“China has explicitly banned any stablecoins in the yuan. I think that we are not far from this. At least, everything that will be used as a means of payment will be suppressed by us. We proceed from the assumption that the Russian Federation’s means of payment is the ruble.”
Despite this denouncement over the premise of a privately-owned digital asset aligned with the national currency, the Bank of Russia have expressed interest in a state-issued digital ruble. In October 2020, they released an official roadmap for the concept, commenting that a digital ruble will be issued “in addition to existing forms of money.”
Shvetsov regards this idea as “exactly the philosophy – the uniqueness of the means of payment.”
In August 2020, one of Russia’s largest banks Sberbank announced that they were working on launching a ruble-pegged stablecoin. The response from the Bank of Russia in the last few days seems to end this company and others hopes for launch in this area.