Russia can legalize cryptocurrency mining and gold-backed stablecoins under government control, a senior member of the Russian parliament has suggested. What is surprising is the fact that the statement comes after the Bank of Russia proposed a complete ban on the use of cryptocurrencies, their trading and mining.
Mining and stablecoins would be allowed in Russia
"Free circulation of cryptocurrencies should not be allowed because they carry risks for unskilled investors, but Russia may allow the use of gold-backed stablecoins and government-controlled cryptocurrency mining," Vladimir Gutenev, chairman of the State Duma's Committee on Industry and Trade, told RIA Novosti news agency.
On Thursday, the Central Bank of Russia published a consultation paper in which it presented its views on cryptocurrencies. The monetary authority proposed to ban transactions involving stablecoins, crypto investments, exchanges and mining in the country. Meanwhile, the bank has launched the pilot phase of its own project to implement the Russian CBDC payments system, the digital ruble.
Quoted by the portal Prime business news, the MP concluded:
"Cryptocurrencies should be banned, but Russia could use a gold-backed stablecoin under close state supervision. Such a financial product would be an interesting proposition for private investors and companies. It can also be used to save money."
Mr. Gutenev continued while stating:
"The gold-backed stablecoin could be similar to a golden ruble, and Russia can use it to circumvent the sanctions and containment policy deployed against the country. This wedge can also be used to facilitate regular and transparent economic relations with other nations."
Do everything for "de-dollarization"
Gutenev revealed that he had already discussed the idea with the governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina. The head of the Committee on Industry and Trade believes that as an asset, gold is quite undervalued compared to fiduciary reserve currencies such as the U.S. dollar and the euro.
"In October, the Foreign Ministry noted that Russia may consider partially replacing the greenback in reserves and for trade settlements with other currencies and even digital assets. In the face of expanding US sanctions, Moscow is emphasizing the policy of 'de-dollarization'," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Pankin says in an interview with Interfax.
Commenting on the Bank of Russia's call for a ban on crypto mining, Vladimir Gutenev admitted that he thought cryptocurrency farms could be allowed to operate legally if their activities were under strict state control. Miners can take advantage of the abundant energy resources and favorable weather conditions in some Russian regions, as long as their facilities are powered transparently and they pay all due taxes.
A working group of the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, is currently preparing proposals to close regulatory gaps in the Russian legal framework remaining after the adoption of the law "On Digital Financial Assets".
Its members are expected to address outstanding issues in several areas, including the legal status of cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency trading and mining. Local media revealed that not all government institutions shared the Bank of Russia's firm position on the matter.
The Russian Central Bank had made an attempt to ban activities related to the cryptocurrency sector following the example of China. However, lawmakers oppose this idea while noting that the cryptosphere should be regulated and controlled by the state. However, without a clear and precise legal framework, it will hardly be possible to make a balanced decision.
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