Russian Central Bank Tests Stablecoins in Regulatory Sandbox

Bitcoinist December 27, 2019
Updated 2019/12/27 at 5:20 AM
4 Min Read

According to recent reports, the Bank of Russia has started using a regulatory sandbox to test the performance of stablecoins.

Russia Warming to Stablecoins

Russia’s stance towards cryptocurrencies has always been questionable, with the country’s intentions and goals never being fully known to anyone. However, according to recent reports, it may be that Russia sees potential in crypto, after all, or at least in one aspect of the industry — stablecoins.

According to a recent report by iHodl Russia, the country’s central bank — the Bank of Russia — recently started testing stablecoins’ performance in the regulatory sandbox. The report mentions Elvira Nabiullina, the Head of the Central Bank, who supposedly claimed that the financial regulator is interested to see how stablecoins might perform in the sandbox.

Nabiullina made it clear that this type of digital asset will not be introduced as a means of payment, and that it definitely will not become a substitute for traditional money. Still, many feel that willingness to conduct tests of this kind are a positive sign for the future of crypto in Russia.

In fact, the Bank of Russia might continue following in China’s footsteps, and potentially even create its own cryptocurrency at some point in the future. Nabiullina went on to add that similar opportunities are being discussed in countries around the world, so Russia decided that studying stablecoins is something that they should do, as well.

The central bank is focusing on understanding what might be beneficial for the country’s citizens, businesses, and alike. One example is the development of a faster payment system that could be used for settlements between legal entities too, and not just between individuals.

Russia considered banning crypto completely

Even so, the fact that the central bank is even studying the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies is a big step in the right direction, especially after previous reports that claimed that Russia is considering to ban them, completely. The consideration comes from the regulator’s belief that cryptos are only useful for money laundering and similar illicit activities.

While cryptocurrencies are not considered legal in Russia, they are still being used for paying for goods and services in online shops. Russia even has freelancers who accept crypto as payment for their work.

However, the country’s regulators believed that they needed to come up with specific regulations to fight illegal activities, which is the same stance that regulators around the world share. The Bank of Russia supported the idea of the ban, but fortunately, it has not arrived yet.

It is easy to understand the country’s concerns regarding crypto when they only get to experience its negative side. One example of this is a bomb threat reported only a few days ago. Whoever sent the bomb threats, demanded that $870,000 in BTC that was supposedly stolen from a defunct crypto exchange, WEX.

The anonymous blackmailers have been terrorizing the country with their threats for almost a month now, threatening to blow up schools, shopping malls, courts, transportation hubs, TV stations, and more. No one was hurt as of yet, and no bombs have been detonated anywhere, but over 750,000 people were forced to evacuate buildings since the threats started.

What do you think about the future of cryptocurrency in Russia? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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