It appears that Russia is fast-tracking the implementation of the anticipated regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. If successful, it could lead to the introduction of an oil-backed digital currency.
The lower house of the Russian national assembly, known as the State Duma, could pass the much-awaited legislation on cryptocurrencies as soon as next month. This was said by Oleg Nikolaev, a member of the house committee on economic policy. He further disclosed that the bill is in its final prepping phase and will revolutionize the Russian crypto space if passed.
In the past, Russian lawmakers have appeared reluctant in addressing the regulatory uncertainty surrounding virtual currencies in the country. Indeed, the bill pertaining to digital financial assets has had is hearings continually postponed for the best part of the past year. It took the intervention of the upper house's chair, Valentina Matvienko, to pressure the members of the State Duma to address the issue. The resultant efforts indicate that Russia could finally adopt a friendly stance towards cryptocurrencies.
An Oil-Backed Cryptocurrency
After implementing the laws, it is believed that Russia will introduce an oil-backed virtual currency. Igor Yusufov, a former minister of Energy, affirmed that the coin will be called Neft-coin and will go live shortly after the adoption of the digital assets regulatory framework.
Additionally, Yusufov stated that the Neft-coin will present Russia with a subtle means of circumventing the various sanctions imposed by the US. It will also save the money that is lost during currency exchange. Igor reiterated that adopting cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in the petroleum industry would benefit Russia and other members of the OPEC+ organization.
Following the abysmal performance of the Petro, the Venezuelan oil-backed cryptocurrency, the concept of the Neft-coin doesn't seem so promising. Key players in the energy industry, Russia included, have failed to acknowledge Petro as a viable means of settling petroleum transactions. The only reprieve for Neft-coin is that Russia is likely to command more credibility than Venezuela.
Fighting The Dollar
Although there are scant details regarding the Neft-coin project, its ultimate objective is known. Russia wants to end the perceived over-dependence on the US dollar as the go-to currency in international transactions.
Most of the countries sanctioned by the US have found a way of dodging the consequences by embracing the use of crypto assets. This explains why Russia was quick to adopt a softened stance on cryptos after previously appearing to be vehemently opposed to the idea. This trend will certainly continue until the US stops imposing sanctions on countries that challenge their supremacy.
Oil producers are adopting digital currencies to free themselves from the US dollar. For crypto enthusiasts, this budding trend is yet another avenue for increasing the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies.