Well, Russia will actually create its own cryptocurrency. This was announced on Friday by the Russian Minister of Communications. Maybe you ask it because you heard this news since it came two days before your question.
The cryptocurrency will be called CryptoRuble, and the initiative was proposed by President Vladimir Putin himself.
Nikolay Nikiforov, the Minister of Communications, says that the cryptocurrency will be created as soon as possible, probably within several weeks or months.
However, as the official explained, it doesn’t mean that Russia legalizes Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in general. Today, cryptocurrencies in Russia don’t have an official and legal status, though they are not banned.
As for the CryptoRuble, it will come with a 13% tax on income.
It’s worth mentioning that you will not be able to mine the new cryptocoin.
In Russia, the state institutions are not unanimous about Bitcoin’s status. For example, the Central Bank does not want to legalize it and even call it a pyramid-like system, while the Ministry of Finance is very open to cryptocurrencies. The Russian Ministry of Economic Development compared Bitcoin to a ponzi scheme. He said:
“There are very high risks for those who invest in it; it’s clear that the state will not be able to protect these people, they act absolutely at their own risk. I simply call on everyone to be very careful about such stories.”
As for President Putin, he is reserved on the topic. He has mentioned the risks and the benefits with different occasions. In June, he met with Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum creator, and probably discussed different aspects of the crypto world.
So – no to Bitcoin at this time, but yes to a national cryptocurrency.
Will it change something? I don’t know. It will not be different than a traditional currency, as the CryptoRuble won’t have the true decentralized nature, won’t be mined, and will be tracked by the government.
Besides, there are very few details about the whole story, so I don’t know what might happen. I guess nothing serious will happen – only a few media stories during the launch and that’s it. Then maybe a few stories on the course. It’s difficult to assess the future impact of it.