On the second day of the anniversary 10th Gaidar Forum, an expert discussion was held on the topic of “Cryptocurrencies: what does economic theory say?” Cryptocurrencies raise significant interest of the scientific community and the public in general. There are issues of mistrust in cryptocurrency payment systems, benefits, and prospects for the use of such funds, as well as the impact of the cryptocurrency markets development on monetary policy.
The discussion was moderated by Pavel Trunin, Senior Research Fellow of the Center of Macroeconomic Research at RANEPA. The key report was presented by Elena Sinelnikova, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Problems of the Central Banks at RANEPA. Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation Alexey Moiseev, Head of the Research, Forecasting and Analysis Sector of the Research and Forecasting Department of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Alexey Kiselev, Managing Director of the BankEx Blockchain Platform Konstantin Kurbatov, President of the Center for Depositors and Investors Protection Artem Genkin, Advisor to the Central Bank of Sweden Reimo Juks; and Head of the Laboratory of Actual History and Media at RANEPA Andrei Belykh also took part in the discussion.
The discussion began with a speech by Elena Sinelnikova on the theoretical aspects of cryptocurrency studying. She stressed that it is not so easy to define the term “cryptocurrency”, since there are different points of view.
The main problem for the cryptocurrency market today is that society does not trust cryptocurrencies, although, according to some speakers, this phenomenon is not new. The scientific community is confident that cryptocurrencies do not pose a threat to the Central Banks and payment systems and may in the future become a new “gold” or oil.
Andrei Belykh considered the issue under discussion from a historical point of view. Cryptocurrencies were created for anonymity, to make settlements independently of the central authorities. But if anonymity disappears and there is no need to circumvent the law, will cryptocurrencies be more convenient and will they satisfy needs better than the traditional currencies of the Central Banks? According to Andrei Belykh, cryptocurrency will not replace the public money of the Central Bank.
The next speaker, Artem Genkin, drew attention to the fact that the emergence of cryptocurrency is a logical phenomenon, and not an accident. The situation in Sweden described by Reimo Juks only confirms this. Today, almost all people in Sweden use bank cards, and physical cash has faded into the background. The central bank of Sweden keeps pace with the times and has developed a new currency – the e-krona technology, which is about to be put into circulation.
Konstantin Kurbatov also shared his opinion about the cryptocurrency market. According to him, cryptocurrency is just a new form of currency, but a hybrid one. In addition, a cryptocurrency is a perfect anonymous source of information about the current situation in certain areas of the economy. For example, it allows tracking the level of the shadow economy in the country.
Alexey Kiselev continued to develop the topic of anonymity. He considered a situation where different levels of anonymity could appear for different types of money.
The discussion ended with a consideration of the possible risks of cryptocurrency use. One of the highest risks today is the risk of the cryptocurrency loss, since the protection technologies are not yet perfect.
Valeria Savenkova, RANEPA
10th Gaidar Forum Organizers:
The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA);
The Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy (Gaidar Institute);
The Association of Innovative Regions of Russia (AIRR).
The general partners of the Gaidar Forum are Gazprom and Gazprombank; strategic partners include Prosveshcheniye publishing house, Coca-Cola, Pharmstandard group, ACIG Group of Companies, the Russian Textbook Corporation, SANOFI, Novartis, Johnson & Johnson, Russian Railways, MSD, and Mastercard; EY, Cisco and Russian Direct Investment Fund are partners. This discussion’s partners are Philips, Cherkizovo and RVC.
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