A senior Russian official has thrown his support behind a state-backed cryptocurrency.
In an interview with Russian broadcaster RBC, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said that he is in favor of a "crypto-ruble" – provided that certain measures are put in place on the security front.
"This theme will develop," he said in translated statements. "But it should develop in such a way that the national economy cannot be put under attack, but rather make it stronger."
Shuvalov isn't the first Russian official to opine on the subject of a blockchain-based ruble. Indeed, the deputy chief of the Bank of Russia remarked in February that the implementation of a national cryptocurrency was "only a question of time." Skorobogatova stated that, after extended discussions within the central bank they were finally ready to move forward with initiative.
The Russian government is exploring blockchain on multiple fronts, including work by health officials to test possible methods that utilize the tech for exchanging patient information. And earlier this summer, President Vladimir Putin briefly met with ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin.
During the RBC interview, Shuvalov confirmed that the government is considering investing in cryptocurrency mining resources, a disclosure that comes after word emerged that an advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin is putting together a bitcoin mine of his own.
The idea that Russia would potentially fund construction of cryptocurrency mining facilities is in itself notable, given that at one point, lawmakers in the country once debated harsh measures – including prison terms – to deter the creation and spread of so-called "money surrogates".
Still, movement on this front is in the earliest stages, according to Shuvalov.
"But while this is a discussion, there are no concrete projects yet. In order to develop such centers, it is necessary to prepare appropriate legislation and its regulation," he told the broadcaster.
Image Credit: ID1974 / Shutterstock.com