In what could be seen as a first of its kind proposal by a world leader, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has gone on record suggesting that there should be a cross-country regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
Apparently, PM Medvedev subscribes to the view that virtual currency regulations should not be country-specific. Instead, he wants the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states to cooperate and coordinate to bring forth a unified policy, according to a new report by Russian business journal Vedomosti.
Medvedev seems particularly keen on forming an alliance with the rest of the EAEU members including Belarus, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan to regulate cryptocurrencies. This was evident from his speech at a conference called “Digital Agenda in the Age of Globalization” held on Feb 2 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
“It’s impossible to introduce these principles [regulating cryptocurrencies] in one country, our approach should be closer to the level of the Union,” the Russian leader said.
Readers may remember that earlier in December 2017, the Russian President Vladimir Putin had advocated the need for a new international cryptocurrency to be adopted in BRICS and EAEU countries.
Even though Medvedev spoke in regard to the EAEU, he also echoed Putin’s view on the need for multinational virtual currency and a corresponding regulatory framework.
“In any case, we shouldn’t be limited to only national models. My colleagues said here that cryptocurrencies can be used for payment. Let’s approach this carefully because our economies are so strongly and closely linked,” he added.
In late December 2017, Olga Skorobogatova, First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, stated that the bank was in favor of the proposal to issue a supranational digital currency in BRICS and EAEU countries.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia’s largest state bank Sberbank is preparing to trade cryptocurrencies outside Russia.
According to local media reports, the new exchange will be domiciled at Sberbank’s Swiss branch, the Sberbank Switzerland AG. Andrey Shemetov, Head of Global Markets at Sberbank, explained the rationale behind picking Switzerland by saying that the country offered a friendlier environment for the crypto economy.
However, Shemetov was quick to point out that the crypto exchange platform will be targeted only at institutional investors, which means only legal investment entities such as hedge funds, not retail investors, will be able to make use of the new platform.
Sberbank has so far refrained from disclosing a definitive timeline for the launch of the new exchange platform.
Image featured by Andrew McKay