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Russian central bank completes blockchain tokenization pilot in its regulatory sandbox

Image by Sue Kellerman from Flickr

Tue, 18 Feb 2020, 09:40 am UTC

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) announced on Feb. 17 that it just completed a blockchain pilot in its regulatory sandbox for the issue and circulation of digital rights.

The blockchain platform was developed by mining firm Nornickel. It allows digitizing goods, services, securities, and other assets, converting them into digital tokens.

The central bank said that this tokenization offers businesses opportunities for attracting financing on one hand, while creating new convenient investment tools for consumers on the other. The platform is open for use for all organizations and can be utilized to issue hybrid tokens backed by a basket of assets.

Ivan Zimin, head of CBR’s fintech division, said that the CBR has proposed amendments to the country's cryptocurrency legislation to include tokenization platforms, Cointelegraph reported.

“It was one of the largest sandbox projects,”said Zimin (via online translation). "An important detail of the service is the use of hybrid tokens, which make it easy to adapt to the needs of business and consumers and provide flexible solutions for attracting investments. Based on the results of the piloting, the Bank of Russia proposed to include in the draft federal law “On Digital Financial Assets” the provisions necessary for the introduction and development of such decisions in the emerging digital assets market, which were supported by government bodies and businesses."

Russia has an unclear regulatory status when it comes to cryptocurrency. In December 2019, the central bank told state-operated agency RIA that they support the idea to ban cryptocurrencies due to the “significant risks” they carry.

“In our opinion, private cryptocurrencies cannot be equated with fiat money and cannot be legal tender. If it is decided to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the legislative level, we consider it appropriate to support this position,” the central bank said.

In the same month, the central bank announced that it has started testing stablecoins in its regulatory sandbox. Central bank head Elvira Nabiullina said that they were only exploring how stablecoins work, adding that they did not assume that it would function as a means of payment or an alternative to money.

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