Category Archives: Bank of Russia

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Russian Central Bank Experimenting with Stablecoin Technology

  • Bank of Russia experimenting with stablecoins in a regulatory sandbox

Reports indicate that the Bank of Russia, which is the central bank of Russia, is evaluating the performance of stablecoin technology in a regulatory sandbox. According to the bank, there is no intention for a Russian stablecoin to be used as a payment method or to act as a substitute for traditional fiat, however.

That being said, this news is a significant policy reversal from the Russian government’s negative stance towards crypto. In-fact, Russia almost banned cryptocurrency earlier in 2019 due to the government’s belief that crypto was only used for money laundering and illicit activity.

These stablecoin experiments are leading to speculation that the Russian central bank could eventually launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which would be a blockchain-based version of the Russian Ruble (RUB). This would make sense, since Russia’s primary ally, China, is going to launch a Chinese yuan (CNY) CBDC in the near future. However, Russia has not yet confirmed that a RUB version of the same is in the works.

 

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Bank of Russia Reports Successful ICO Experiment

The deputy director of the Bank of Russia (BoR) has said that the central bank’s initial coin offering (ICO) trial experiment was a ”technical” success.

Local news outlet TASS reports that Ivan Semagin relayed the message during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia on Monday. Semagin detailed to the forum attendees that BoR held the trial ICO to test the existing infrastructure of the bank’s sandbox.

While he was happy to relay the good results that ”technically everything went well”, he did add that from a legal standpoint, the experiment brought up several issues. The deputy director refrained from sharing any of these legal concerns with the crowd, however, despite the importance of these nuances for startups looking to hold their own coin offerings.

The experiment was a collaborative effort between Russia’s largest state-funded retail bank, Sberbank, and the country’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) on BoR’s regulatory platform that was developed to be used in ICO-style fundraising rounds. The ICO issuer, in this case, was a company called Level One, which manages online lecture tutorials.

BoR’s regulatory platform was itself launched in April this year, with this trial scheduled to test the logistics before it can be rolled out for use by local businesses. Its ambition was declared as helping to rapidly introduce new financial services and technologies that require legal regulations.

It was developed with the input and cooperation of interested state bodies, profile associations and development institutions.

Blockchain voting

Russian officials last month shared that the state has been experimenting with a blockchain-backed electronic voting system, an increasingly popular solution for countries with a poor history of democratic elections.

Unsurprisingly, the notoriously opaque government of Russia have shared no technical details of the proposed system with the public as of yet. The federal coordinator of National Public Monitoring Fedor Kolomoystsev said to reporters: “As part of our congress, we are launching in the test mode an electronic voting system [in elections], which is built on a blocking system.”

 

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