Azerbaijan is actively discussing the possibility of creating a “Cryptomanat” coin – the cryptocurrency equivalent of its national currency, the Azerbaijani manta, reports the Echo local newspaper.

Discussions of creating a national cryptocurrency started in the CIS countries after an announcement from Russian payment service provider Qiwi last week regarding the creation of a "BitRuble" in Russia.

According to the head of the Centre for Sustainable Development Research Nariman Agayev, some Azerbaijan citizens already tried to using the currency for financial transactions, but the venture failed.

"I am confident that the emergence Cryptomanat will not have a significant impact on the economy of Azerbaijan, since it won’t stay afloat for long,” he said. “It is in Russia, the US, Europe and Japan, where cryptocurrency was created and where electronic money can be used to pay for goods or services. But given that our citizens prefer to deal with cash, only a few will buy Cryptomanat.”

He added:

“This is also supported by forecasts and statistics on the reduction in the use of bank cards per capita in Azerbaijan. In general, I think that they won’t last long and electronic currency across the globe will burst like a soap bubble."

Nevertheless, implementing such a currency in Azerbaijan is not difficult from a technical standpoint, according to independent ICT expert Farid Kazimov, who also noted that “no problems should arise.”

And while Azerbaijan’s Central Bank has not yet commented on the idea of a Cryptomanat, a legal framework exists, which might facilitate the creation of a national albeit regulated digital currency.

"According to the Constitution of Azerbaijan, it is forbidden to use other means of payment except the national currency manta,” the bank stated. “At the same time, the Central Bank has developed a draft law ‘On Payment Services,’ which involves the creation of a legal framework for the use and issue of digital money. This law will create favorable conditions for the use of regulated digital money."