15 September 2022
Foreign nationals should be able to buy Russia’s upcoming digital ruble through entry points providing anonymity, according to a high-ranking member of the Russian parliament. The idea circulated in Moscow aims to protect these investors from Western sanctions.
Foreign investors should be provided with an option to anonymously acquire the Russian central bank digital currency (CBDC), in order to minimize the risk of falling under sanctions, the head of the State Duma Committee on Industry Vladimir Gutenev said in his Telegram channel on Tuesday.
The Russian lawmaker also suggested that the digital ruble, currently under development and testing by the Central Bank of Russia and a group of commercial banks, should be backed by real assets. Quoted by the Interfax news agency, Gutenev elaborated:
This is necessary: the domestic digital currency should be backed by real assets; a possibility for ‘anonymous entry points’ should be created for foreign investors to purchase Russian digital currency to avoid the imposition of sanctions.
In his post, the State Duma deputy also voiced support for the legalization of cryptocurrency mining in Russia. He believes the industry should be anchored in the country’s energy-rich regions, which offer low-cost electrical energy. At the same time, Vladimir Gutenev is not in favor of charging miners preferential rates.
“Civilized mining and thoughtfulness in the use of digital currencies will open up new opportunities for the financial, economic and technological sectors,” insisted the high-ranking member of the lower house of Russian parliament.
Russia is preparing to comprehensively regulate its crypto space this year, with the State Duma expected to review a new bill “On Digital Currency” during its fall session. An area of particular interest is the possibility of using digital currencies to bypass financial restrictions imposed over Moscow’s military invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier in September, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia agreed that the country could not do without cross-border settlements in cryptocurrency. Despite their consensus, the monetary authority emphasized the agreement was not about legalizing crypto as a means of payment inside the country and vowed to continue to promote its own digital currency.
Stablecoins have been put forward as another option for cross-border settlements. While the digital ruble is not backed by any assets, a report by the VEB.RF Institute for Research and Expertise in June proposed the issuance of a stablecoin secured by Russia’s gold reserves, a so-called “golden ruble,” to be used in foreign trade settlements and convertible to other currencies on an exchange.
Do you think Russia will allow foreign investors to buy the digital ruble anonymously? Tell us in the comments section below.
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