Russia is moving forward with testing stablecoins, as The Bank of Russia has started testing these pegged to real assets set in regulatory sandbox.
The head of the central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, commented that the bank does not assume that stablecoins will eventually replace money or function as payment means.
What the Bank of Russia is doing now is exploring the potential uses of stablecoins and how they can prevent the high volatility in the cryptocurrency market. So, the attitude of the regulator is more towards exploring rather than “substituting” money.
This is what Nabiullina said, as reported by CryptoGlobe:
We are testing stablecoins in our regulatory ‘sandbox’. We see companies willing to issue tokens pegged to certain real assets. In our regulatory sandbox, we are learning the potential uses of stablecoins but we do not assume that they will function as a means of payment and become a surrogate for money.
While the bank hasn’t issued its own digital currency so far, there are rumours that it is still exploring such possibility. The currency that a central bank issues is called CBDC, or the digital ruble. The first step outlined for now is understanding the potential advantages of introducing CBDC based on the past experiences of other central banks around the globe.
Nabiullina went on to say that if the bank indeed issues a digital ruble, this can lead to serious consequences and probably huge changes in the financial market and its structure.
The head of the bank also noted that the popularity of digital coins in Russia has decreased significantly over the last couple of years. While cryptocurrency education in the country has increased, the actual interest in the digital assets as such has dropped. Of course, there are still many people who believe that cryptocurrencies can work as private money without interference from the government. However, Nabiullina stressed that the bank is against such use and will not support it.