Local news sources in Russia are reporting that the country is preparing to issue its own CryptoRuble digital currency.
The announcement was made at a closed door meeting in Moscow, where Vladimir Putin “officially stated” that the country will launch a blockchain-based version of its state currency.
The news was leaked through Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov, then was quickly picked up by CoinTelegraph. At the time of writing, CoinTelegraph is the only independent source reporting on the event. They don’t link to any actual “local news sources” – so we’re skeptical about the report being legitimate.
According to the CoinTelgraph’s “local news sources”, the state-issued cryptocurrency will not be minable. It will also be issued, controlled, and maintained only by authorities.
CryptoRubles can be exchanged for regular Rubles at any time. However, the currency will also have a built-in anti-money laundering system in place. If someone cannot explain where the CryptoRubles originated, then Russia will levy a 13% tax on the transaction.
The same tax will be applied to any capital gains made by buying and selling the currency. In other words, if you buy low and sell high, you’ll pay capital gains tax on the earned difference.
“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 said, according to CoinTelegraph (again, CoinTelegraph doesn’t link to where he made this statement, or any source for this statement online).
Russia Calls For A Complete Ban On Cryptocurrencies
Some reports online are describing Russia’s CryptoRuble as a “pivot” on their previous cryptocurrency stance.
Russia had recently called for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies, according to reports. By launching the CryptoRuble, some believe Russia is changing its stance and “embracing” cryptocurrencies.
That seems unlikely.
It’s no secret that banks and governments are investigating blockchain technology, including how it could be used in government administration or in national currencies. By launching its own cryptocurrency, Russia may be able to ban bitcoin while still letting citizens embrace the benefits of digital currencies.
As mentioned above, Russia plans to control, maintain, and issue CryptoRubles. It won’t be a decentralized, community-governed ecosystem like bitcoin.
Is The Latest CryptoRuble Report Real?
Right now, it’s hard to find any information about the CryptoRuble available online. CoinTelegraph’s Jon Buck published the report on Sunday morning. He cited “local news sources” and the “Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov” in the report. However, he refused to link to either source. The entire article links exclusively to CoinTelegraph, and there are no links to outside sources.
Based on that information, it seems possible that CoinTelegraph invented the report to attract attention (and backlinks) online.
No other news sources have corroborated the CoinTelegraph report. The only other mentions of a “CryptoRuble” online are from August 2017, when Russia was rumored to be investigating the launch of a so-called “Crypto-Ruble”.
To CoinTelegraph’s credit, Nikolay Nikiforov is a real person. He’s a 35 year old politician who has been serving as the Minister of Communications and Mass Media in Russia since May 2012. However, we can’t find any source for his statements as reported by CoinTelegraph.
Did CoinTelegraph just invent the Crypto Ruble report for attention? Is Russia legitimately launching its Crypto Ruble in the near future? At this point, it’s all rumors and speculation.
However, it seems likely that Russia and other countries could launch their own cryptocurrencies in the future – we’re just not sure this latest report is accurate.