A Russian government official has spoken out against a leading domestic payments company's plan to release its own digital currency sometime next year.
Reports by Russian-language news services Kommersant and Pravda suggest that QIWI, a Moscow-based payments firm, is working to develop a bitcoin-like currency that will be a virtualization of the ruble. Sergei Solonin, QIWI’s CEO, told Kommersant in an interview that the concept could be deployed as early as next year.
However, a report from state-owned news service TASS suggests that Russian officials aren't warm to the concept.
According to TASS, Russian financial ombudsman Pavel Medvedev dismissed the concept as against the country's laws, stating during a radio appearance:
QIWI, according to financial statements published in March, oversaw $11.5bn in payments volume during 2014 and total adjusted net revenue of $157.1m over the course of that year.
It remains clear whether QIWI’s digital currency dream becomes a reality. Despite the hope for a launch in early 2016, Solonin reportedly said that the outcome will depend largely on the response from Russian authorities – of which Medvedev's on-air response could be the first of a number of criticisms.
Notably, Solonin indicated that the company was developing a kind of user identification system that would complement the digital currency.
QIWI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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