Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Russian parliament’s Financial Markets committee, had some good news for blockchain fans in Russia. According to Aksakov, there are “no anti-blockchain voices” in the government and he believes that a digital ruble pilot will start in 2021.
During a panel held on October 21 as part of the Blockchain Life 2021 conference, the policymaker said that the central bank had already started consultations on the feasibility of launching ‘cryptoruble’ pilots. He considers it “the future of all our money circulation.”
Local media reports have pointed out the possibility of seeing a digital ruble in circulation in late 2021, which could be used on DLT platforms, and businesses could be able to leverage it to track goods and payments.
Aksakov also told the approximate 3,000 people in attendance:
"I know that a large number of serious businesspeople are preparing to issue digital assets. The Central Bank has taken a big step forward by announcing that it is starting consultations on the matter of digital assets."
As Cointelegraph reported on October 16, at least five Russian banks are interested in taking part in Russia’s non-public digital ruble pilots in the first half of 2021.
The list of banks includes state-backed Promsvyazbank, the Credit Bank of Moscow, commercial bank Zenit, mortgage bank Dom.RF, and Crimea’s Russian National Commercial Bank.
However, Aksakov clarified that the Russian government draws a clear distinction between blockchain and cryptocurrency. For blockchain, he calls it the “technology of the future,” but for crypto, he commented:
"There are currently two equal positions on cryptocurrencies. The main opposition to cryptocurrencies is coming from the high-risk it poses for financial institutions, ordinary people. This side is trying to foresee all the risks involved and possible reactions to them."