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Vladimir Potanin – a business oligarch and the second wealthiest man in Russia – claimed that a digital ruble might displace private cryptocurrencies. It could promote new technologies, while bitcoin and the altcoins are “unreliable products” that pose risks to investors, he opined.

Furthermore, a CBDC would be highly centralized and controlled by Russia’s central bank, which is another reason why the institution should focus on it.

In Line with The Central Bank

Billionaire Vladimir Potanin – known as the 10th richest man in the world – is a proponent of digital services and payments. He believes they are part of the future financial revolution:

“Metal coins were replaced by paper money, and then transactions became cashless. Digital financial assets are just the next stage.”

However, the Russian thinks such digitization should not be focused on private cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether. In his view, those are risky, “unreliable products” that regulators can not monitor. As such, he argued that a central bank digital currency or other tokens controlled by the authorities are the appropriate monetary solutions that could boost Russia’s economy.

Potanin is an investor in Atomyze – a tokenization startup based in Switzerland. The platform uses blockchain to turn real assets like metal and homes into tokens that can be easily exchanged. Earlier this month, the company’s Russian unit received a license to offer such trading.

“Unlike some cryptocurrencies, platforms like Atomyze offer consumers high-quality and secure digital goods and may squeeze unreliable products out from the market,” Potanin stated.

Vladimir Patonin
Vladimir Patonin, Source: Forbes

The billionaire’s viewpoint coincides to a large extent with the Bank of Russia’s one. Last month, the financial institution urged for a total crypto ban describing private digital currencies as a pyramid scheme that could threaten the local financial network.

On the other hand, the organization favors a CBDC and other tokens that it could supervise. Several months ago, Sergey Shvetsov – a member of the Bank of Russia Board of Directors – revealed that the central bank is willing to introduce testing programs for some digital projects as long as they operate under local legislation.

The Russian Controversy

Unlike the Bank of Russia and Potanin, the President of the Russian Federation – Vladimir Putin – believes cryptocurrencies, especially the mining industry, could provide certain advantages to his nation. As such, he urged the central bank and the government to discuss the topic again and “come to some kind of unanimous opinion.”

Anton Siluanov – Russia’s Minister of Finance – is also on the opposite corner. According to him, local banks should have the authorization to organize digital asset services. At the same time, investing in cryptocurrencies must be treated similarly to investing in gold or other precious metals.


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