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CryptoRuble? Da, Comrade!

by Thomas Ressler

The expansion of the cryptocurrency money supply is about to continue. Governments across the globe may be divided on how best to respond to the disruptive nature of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that undergirds them, but that’s not keeping one government in particular – the Kremlin – from getting into the game.

The Russian government has decided to launch its own, dubbed CryptoRuble – and to do so quickly lest its Asian neighbors and rivals beat it to the punch. Multiple news outlets have reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin made the CryptoRuble announcement at a recent closed-door meeting in Moscow, citing local news sources.

Said Nikolay Nikiforov, Russia’s minister of communications and mass media: “I confidently declare that we will run CryptoRuble for one simple reason: if we do not, then after two months our neighbors in the EurAsEC [the Eurasian Economic Community] will.” The new digital currency will reportedly be deemed legal tender in Russia and face various taxes, including a levy on any appreciation in value. “When buying and selling a CryptoRuble, the rate will be 13 percent from the earned difference,” said Nikiforov, according to an account by RT. “If the owner cannot explain the reason for the appearance of his CryptoRubles, when converting them into Russian rubles, the tax for him will be 13 percent of the total.”

Further, once the digital currency is issued, other cryptocurrency mining will be banned in Russia, according to the RT account. The CryptoRuble will be completely regulated by the government, which is consistent with the previous reporting. It also will be moved to international markets. No specific timetable for the new digital currency was provided, other than “quickly,” according to one account, but the comments from Nikiforov suggest a certain urgency about the government’s plans.

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