A report in the Financial Times on Monday suggests that the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin is moving forward with plans to develop its own digital currency. According to media reports, Putin personally gave the order to create the so-called cryptoruble, which will be a digital version of the nation’s existing hard currency.
If successful, the cryptoruble could help Russia more effectively blunt the impact of the U.S. led economic sanctions that target various businesses and individuals within the country. According to media reports, Putin adviser Sergei Glazyev told attendees at a government meeting that a Russian digital currency could help the country evade those sanctions:
“This instrument suits us very well for sensitive activity on behalf of the state. We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions.”
Of course, the Russian government has been notoriously inconsistent when it comes to presenting a unified front on digital currency policy. Though there has been speculation for months that a cryptoruble was in the works, other reports have indicated government opposition to the idea. In fact, Russian media recently reported that the Deputy Finance Minister and a Deputy Governor at the Central Bank expressed skepticism about the need for a national cryptocurrency.