Countries around the world are scrambling to create solid policy and legal infrastructure to effectively manage the blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Approaches have been diverse, with China electing to delegitimise local cryptocurrencies in an attempt to maintain solid economic controls. Meanwhile, most western democracies have been forced to allow bitcoins and other currencies to flow on the tides of the market, to do otherwise could be seen as anti-capitalist and/or undemocratic.
Russia, arguably caught somewhere between the two, has decided to introduce its own state-mandated cryptocurrency called the crypto-ruble.
This new currency will have some, but not all of the advantages (and disadvantages) that come with operating on the blockchain. According to rumours – the Russian government has not released any formal details as yet – the new currency will not be mined like other cryptocurrencies, which is one of the appeals of blockchain currencies, but will be controlled by the government. However, there is still an air of decentralisation, and due to the nature of the technology, currency fraud (a major problem in Russia) could be combated as the popularity of the new currency increases.
It’s rumoured that crypto-rubles Will be treated the same as traditional rubles and each will be exchangeable for the other. This is a clever attempt to stimulate the economy without the requirement of cash injection or any other countries getting involved.
This will come as a surprise to some, especially as Russia has taken a hard line on third-party currencies. Policies and harsh legislation have been introduced to remove what the government refers to as, “illegitimate currencies.” The world will look with interest to the impact the crypto-ruble has, and how the government maintains control of what is supposed to be an uncontrollable technology. As banks, other countries and large corporations attempt to create their own technology on the blockchain, it will be interesting to see how this experiment turns out.