Russia's National Settlement Depository (NSD) is reportedly considering plans to develop a platform that will enable the Moscow Stock Exchange to service digital currency assets. According to Kommersant, the goal is to create a blockchain-based service package that the NRM can use to record digital assets and settlements, identify cryptocurrency wallet-holders, and store private keys. Ultimately, the Depository hopes to create a bridge that connects fiat currency payment systems to digital currencies.
Kommersant has confirmed that the NSD is partnering with Waves for the technical aspects of the project’s development. That company’s CEO, Alexander Ivanov, told the news outlet that Waves is already in the process of creating the necessary prototype. Ivanov anticipates that his company will have positive results to present to NSD as early as this September. As he observed,
"From a technical point of view, this project is not difficult to implement. Much more difficult - from the conceptual, organizational side.”
Ivanov noted that the project’s main challenge is that there are still lingering questions about digital currency’s legal status within Russia. The NRM apparently recognizes that challenge as well, as a statement from the depository’s press service made clear: "
We expect changes in legislation regarding crypto assets, in order to minimize the risks of ownership."
Unfortunately, Russian officials have been struggling to create a consistent and clear policy on digital currency, and there appears to be little consensus among the different segments of the government. Just this week, A court in St. Petersburg acted to block access to forty digital currency exchanges and issued a ban that forbids the distribution of any information about Bitcoin or other digital currencies.