According to a recent Investopedia article, Russia is gearing up to create its own cryptocurrency which will be known as the CryptoRuble. Unlike other blockchain currencies, it will not be possible to mine the CryptoRuble as the currency will fall under the total control and management of the Russian government.
Interestingly, it will be possible to exchange the CryptoRuble with Russian rubles which is a development that has piqued the interest of many cryptocurrency followers. In order to maintain close control of CryptoRuble ownership, anyone looking to exchange this currency that cannot document how and why they received the monies will face a 13% tax on the exchange.
There have been some reports out of Russia that Vladimir Putin is determined to stop the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia and is looking at ways to shut down the exchanges. Many industry players are watching with close intent to see what happens next and how the CryptoRuble effects the cryptocurrency market at large. Following his meeting earlier this summer with Ethereum co-founder Vladimir Buterin the entire market has been hoping to learn more about Putin's plans.
The Russian Central Bank has been working for months to determine how the CryptoRuble will perform in actual practice, and more information is steadily being released, although some of the statements out of Russia are prompting even more questions. It remains to be seen if Putin and the Russian Central Bank follow through on shutting down all cryptocurrency platforms, especially as it is unclear how this goal could realistically be accomplished.
CryptoRubles are currently being housed on a Masterchain that the government has been utilizing since June 2017. This platform has not yet been released to the public, and while reports say the unveiling is imminent, no concrete date for the currency to go live has yet been announced.
The government involvement is prompting many to consider the CryptoRuble a non-starter as it is feared that all anonymity will be lost, one of the main attractions of cryptocurrency. As the testing of the currency by the Russian government continues, more information will likely become available. A state-sponsored cryptocurrency is an interesting idea indeed, and one that may not be an optimum fit for the industry and its participants.
It will be interesting to see how other nations react to this bold move, what do you think the response will be, if any, by the Australian government?