Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska wants the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, to embrace cryptocurrency, citing El Salvador’s bitcoin law as an example. El Salvador recently passed a bill making bitcoin legal tender in the country.
- Billionaire Oleg Deripaska is the founder of Basic Element, a Russian industrial group focusing in areas such as aluminum, energy, construction, and agriculture. In 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control imposed sanctions against Deripaska and some of his companies. According to Forbes, his net worth is currently $4.7 billion.
- Deripaska commented about bitcoin and criticized the central bank’s cryptocurrency policy in his Telegram channel last week. He said that even a poor country like El Salvador “realized the need for digital currencies and took a simple path – recognized bitcoin as a means of payment.”
- According to the World Bank, “El Salvador suffers from persistent low levels of growth and poverty reduction in the country has been moderate.” Humanium estimated that four out of 10 people of El Salvador live in poverty.
- El Salvador passed a bill to make bitcoin legal tender on June 9. The country is now focusing on bitcoin mining using energy from volcanoes.
- Deripaska questioned when developments in financial technologies (fintech) will “pierce a hole in this wall of superstition” of the Bank of Russia. He also questioned when Russian citizens will “receive a real financial instrument that ensures independence in foreign trade settlements,” instead of just “formal replies and press releases about the ‘development of the digital ruble.’”
- Last month, Bitcoin.com News reported that the Bank of Russia is preparing to launch a prototype of the digital ruble by the end of the year. The Russian central bank digital currency (CBDC) will be designed as a unique digital code stored in dedicated electronic wallets and will become a full-fledged means of payment that Russians can use alongside the regular ruble.
- Meanwhile, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, said last week that “the time will inevitably come when cryptocurrencies will play a very significant role, occupy a very significant segment in international settlements.”
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