"Uncle Sam and the dollar are being stalked by a thousand pound Russian bear"
-- W the Intelligence Insider (paraphrased)
See also "Russia Remains Committed to the Future Adoption of Cryptocurrencies" London Paul/The Sirius Report October 12, 2017
While the appeal of privately 'mined' fiat crypto-currencies has been their security and anonymity, the Russians are seeking to create a transparent system via the Moscow exchange whereby cryptocurrency holders and trades will be known to the authorities and, if capital gains occur, get taxed at Russia's 13% flat tax rate. For a country where oil and gas still accounts for roughly less than a quarter (and a declining share) of GDP, smart contracts can also be used for settlement in crude oil where useful. In theory they could also assist in capitalizing Russian sectors like energy which have been cut off or limited by U.S./EU sanctions from accessing Western capital, by offering Russian and overseas investors affordable direct investment in refining assets or pipelines. Just as real estate ICOs are poised to supplant and eventually replace REITs, this is similar to how master limited partnerships and GDRs providing liquidity in the U.S. markets, but without the need for JP Morgan or Goldman Sachs consultations on issuing the smart contract logged stakes in physical capital.
The offset to the privacy disadvantages of a sovereign as opposed to privately held cryptocurrency are, that the ease and transparency of smart contracts can help to reduce Russia's problems with corruption/offshore money laundering. Also, through ready cash conversion or hard asset backing, the move is intended to create stronger demand for crypto if not paper rubles in trade settlement (dumping the dollar and later, the euro), a key objective of President Putin's long term 'de-offshoreization' and 'rubleization' strategies. The latter was previously emphasized via mid-September reporting that U.S. dollars will soon no longer be accepted for trade settlement at Russian seaports.
See also "Russia and the Chinese Petrodollar Kill Shot" by James the Russian Analyst September 3, 2017
Most important to the big geopolitical and economic reset picture, as the Russia Analyst told RM's esteemed UK-based regular guest host London Paul via messages this morning, it is very unlikely if not inconceivable Moscow would forge ahead on what will ultimately be a gold backed cryptocurrency without very close consultations with China. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP)'s leadership happens to be convening this week for Beijing's 19th CCP congress. The Russian Analyst does not believe this is a coincidence. Moscow and Beijing hold the world's second largest and biggest stockpiles of gold, and the Chinese have already made the first move of the Eurasian giants working in tandem, via Beijing announcing a crypto-yuan which can be settled via cash renminbi or in physical delivery from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE).
It is also likely not an accident that the cryptoruble '[authorized] leak' is coming just days after the historic first visit of a sitting Saudi king to Russian soil. Any Russian crypto-ruble used in oil settlement will most certainly be of interest to OPEC nations, starting with Russia and China's hyperinflation ravaged South American partner Venezuela. Caracas has already announced it's abandoning dollars in favor of yuan, euros or local currencies in crude sales so the Rosneft stake in that country will certainly fuel interest in crypto-ruble transactions as well. -- JWS