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. Moscow circulated the idea to safeguard these investors from Western sanctions.
State Duma Deputy Proposes Anonymous Digital Ruble Buys in Effort to Avoid Sanctions
According to Vladimir Gutenev, head of State Duma Committee on Industry, foreign investors should have the option of anonymly acquiring the Russian central bank’s digital currency (CBDC) to reduce the chance of it falling under sanctions.
Russian lawmaker Gutenev also recommended that the digital ruble (currently under development by the Central Bank of Russia along with a number of commercial banks) should be backed up by real assets. Gutenev, quoted by Interfax news agency, 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.
The State Duma deputy expressed support for legalization in Russia of cryptocurrency mining. He believes the industry should be anchored in the country’s energy-rich regions, which offer low-cost electrical energy. Vladimir Gutenev does not support charging miners higher 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.
The Bank of Russia, along with the Ministry of Finance, agreed in September that cryptocurrency cross-border payments were necessary for Russia. Although they were in agreement, the monetary authorities stressed that the deal was not about legalizing cryptocurrency for payment within the country. They also pledged to support their own digital currency.
As an alternative to cross-border settlements, stablecoins were suggested. 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.
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