Russia Moves Ahead on Eurasian Economic Union Cryptocurrency
December 21, 2018 by Vladimir Litvinov
Russia is moving ahead on introducing a Eurasian Economic Union cryptocurrency. The EEU, which also includes Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, is set for its digital currency circa 2020 or 2021.
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Eurasian Economic Union Cryptocurrency Is Nigh
“With five member states in the EEU, negotiations are likely to take up the entire year 2019, and a launch could be planned for 2020 or 2021,” Alexey Moiseyev, Russia’s deputy finance minister, was quoted as saying by the state-run new agency TASS.
According to Moiseyev, the idea of a single EEU digital currency is supported not only by the union’s member states but also by these states’ major trade partners.
The introduction of a digital currency is “unavoidable” in a situation of economic sanctions slapped by the United States on Russia following the 2014 annexation of the Crimea region from Ukraine, Moiseyev went on to say.
“The number of [Russian companies] that are currently under sanctions keeps increasing, and we hear threats that more sanctions will be introduced,” he explained.
“So, we have to react by creating reliable systems of international payments that are not pegged to the U.S. dollar.”
A Viable Idea, or a Gimmick?
Russian officials have been exploring the possibility of using a cryptocurrency to get around the U.S. sanctions for quite a while now.
Two months ago, the idea of an oil-backed cryptocurrency that could be shared with other major oil exporting countries was first floated, and it is still under discussion.
Meanwhile, reaching agreement on a single cryptocurrency with EEU member states looks a more likely prospect than similar would-be campaigns in other oil exploring countries.
All member states of the EEU, which came into force as a political and economic union of several former Soviet republics in 2015, are Russia’s close allies, and some of them, such as Armenia and Belarus, heavily depend on Russian energy supplies.
Although none of Russia’s EEU partners are under U.S. sanctions, they have still been indirectly hit by the sanctions as their economies are closely interwoven with their more powerful benefactor.
The EEU’s single currency could become a digital analog of the European Currency Unit (ECU), which was an internal quasi-currency in the European Union before being replaced by the Euro in the late 1999s, Russian official say.
What’s your take? Is a Eurasian Economic Union cryptocurrency a good or bad idea? Let us know in the comments section below.
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