Russia’s Central Bank wants to position itself as the country’s digital economy center of gravity – and appears ready to pave a way for its forthcoming digital ruble to gain market dominance. And it wants to make sure of that by placing a limit on the use of stablecoins in settlements.
Per Interfax, Ivan Zimin, the head of the Central Bank’s financial technology department was speaking at a banking-related meeting of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, where he spoke about a piece of legislation that promulgated on January 1 this year. The law – Russia’s first crypto-specific act – has banned the use of cryptoassets in settlements.
But Zimin stated at the meeting that the measure was just a “first step” – and indicated that stablecoins were the next target.
“From my perspective, we need a discussion involving tech experts, economists, and bankers [on the matter of stablecoin regulation].”
Interfax also quoted Aksakov as explaining that the existing legislation in Russia does not classify stablecoins as “digital currencies” (tokens such as bitcoin (BTC)). Instead, the law considers fiat-pegged tokens to be “digital financial assets,” and, therefore, not an illegal form of settlements.
“I would not call a stablecoin a cryptocurrency, if we refer to the definition spelled out in the law on digital financial assets. There, a digital currency is defined as having no obligation or collateral. A stablecoin, on the other hand, has collateral, and so cannot be a digital currency,” Aksakov said.
But it appears the Central Bank sees matters very differently. Zimin said,