After the Iran visit, a lawmaker confirms that Russia is considering a gold-backed stablecoin

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According to a senior member of the Russian parliament, Russia may create a stablecoin backed by gold for use in foreign transactions. During a recent trip to Iran, where officials have expressed interest in such a plan, the issue was broached.

Iran and Russia Talk Stablecoin Payments for Bilateral Trade Settlements
Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Financial Market Committee in the lower house of the Russian parliament, told the newspaper Parlamentskaya Gazeta that the Russian Federation is considering developing a stablecoin backed by gold that can be used for cross-border payments, especially with Iran.

We talked about the creation of stablecoins, which are digital financial assets (DFAs) backed by certain assets. For instance, I mentioned gold and gold bars, which can be obtained from refineries or storage facilities, and against which DFAs are issued, the congressman said following a visit by a Russian delegation to the Islamic Republic.

According to Aksakov, who was also mentioned by the news agency Interfax, such a stablecoin can therefore be used as a means of exchange in transactions between Russia and Iran, for instance. He continued by saying that the Iranian side has expressed interest in the plan.

The senior State Duma official also pointed out that Iran owes Russia a sizable amount for products delivered to Iran. The rial, an Iranian currency, also swings a lot and has two official exchange rates to the dollar that are approved by the Central Bank of Iran and the market rate, making estimates for Russian exports difficult.

The chairman of the Russian crypto industry association informed the business daily Vedomosti that Iran’s central bank is considering building one with Russian cooperation earlier in January, sparking news that Tehran and Moscow are discussing the potential launch of a digital currency backed by gold. The executive said that the token would be used to promote trade in the Persian region.

Gold-Backed Russian Digital Currency First Proposed in 2019

In May 2019, Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of the Bank of Russia, participated in a meeting in the State Duma where the idea to launch a Russian stablecoin backed by gold was first discussed. At the time, Vladimir Gutenev, a member of the house, urged that the central bank start discussions with the other BRICS nations about the issue and insisted:

The least susceptible asset is gold. Most likely, Brazil, China, and India could help us comprehend one another.

Anatoly Aksakov noted, “But they are rather not cryptocurrencies, perhaps so-called stablecoins,” while Nabiullina said the monetary authority is open to a stablecoin backed by a real asset. In a paper issued in the summer of 2022 by the VEB.RF Institute for Research and Expertise, a suggestion for a “golden ruble” stablecoin was also included.

Russia and Iran have been looking into ways to use decentralised cryptocurrency to get around limits on international trade after being pressured by Western sanctions. Iran made its first formal import order using cryptocurrency in August of last year, while Russia is moving to legitimise cross-border cryptocurrency payments. There are also plans to create a crypto rial and a digital ruble that are not backed by gold.

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