It appears that the love-hate relationship between Russia and the cryptocurrencies is getting into a new stage. According to a report of the Russian daily Argumenty i Fakty (AiF) quoting the country’s communications minister Nikolay Nikiforov, Russia will launch its own cryptocurrency, the cryptoruble, and fast.
“I am certain to say that we will launch the cryptoruble for one simple reason: if we do not do it shortly, in two months’ time it will be done by our neighbors in the Eurasian Economic Community”, Nikiforov said. In his words the cryptocurrency will be developed quickly, even though the details are still yet to be worked out. Nikiforov, however, said that it will not be mineable like the other typical cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and will employ Russian crypto technology. The national cryptocurrency will also tightly controlled and regulated and will be used for tax purposes. If for example, the holder cannot explain the origin of his/her cryptorubles, s/he will have to pay a 13% tax on the sum. A commission of 13% will also be levied if s/he wants to convert it into “regular” rubles.
The minister also noted that the introduction of the cryptoruble will not legalize the use of Bitcoin and the likes, even though mining and using those cryptocurrencies currently is not explicitly forbidden in Russia.
The first reports of Russia’s intentions to launch own cryptocurrency appeared last spring, along with the news the financial regulators are planning to ban the Bitcoin and all other cryptocurrencies. Later other reports claimed the government has backtracked on its blanket ban intentions.
Meanwhile, other countries like Sweden and Japan have announced plans to launch their own digital currencies, the e-krona and the J Coin in an attempt to offset the use of cash. According to the Financial Times, the J Coin would likely be launched before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and will be convertible into yen on a one-to-one basis, operating via a smartphone app and using QR codes to be scanned in stores.