Azerbaijan Won't Issue a State-Backed Cryptocurrency, Central Bank Reveals

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Azerbaijan’s first Central Bank Chairman has put the brakes on speculation about a national cryptocurrency. He recently claimed cryptocurrencies are often used for money laundering purposes. According to local media, Alim Guliyev made the comments in remarks to reporters. He noted how the Central Bank of Azerbaijan (CBA) has no plans to issue a cryptocurrency since they take a very conservative stance on the topic.

Guliyev’s comments echo similar sentiments CBA officials reportedly have been showing over the last few months. Chairman Elman Rustamov noted in February that crypto investments were risky and dangerous.

Guliyev’s remarks came around the same time IMF leader Christine Lagarde said during a speech that “we should consider the possibility to issue digital currency” and encouraged central banks to look into use cases. Ironically, the global financial entity released a report in September warning the Marshall Islands to stop moving forward with plans to launch a cryptocurrency as a second form of legal tender.

A No To Cryptocurrency But Interest In Blockchain

In November 2017, Rustamov asserted during budget discussions in Parliament how the CBA did not see crypto as an alternative payments method due to perceptions about investment risk.

He was more bullish on blockchain technology, and said at the time the technology could shake up various sectors. Rustamov explained the Central Bank would lend assistance with research and investigation into blockchain and see how it could be utilized in Azerbaijan’s banking and financial sector.

Earlier this month, CryptoGlobe reported on how the government announced the commencement of blockchain-based technology becoming integrated into the Ministry of Justice. There was particular interest in utilizing blockchain for notarization purposes in order to modernize an older system and promote transparency.

Can Crypto Revolutionize National Competitiveness?

Despite the sentiments expressed by the CBA, some believe the embracing of cryptocurrencies could make the nation more globally competitive. In October 2017, Azernews reported on remarks by Maryam Tagiyeva of the British Research Center for Citizenship, Enterprise, and Governance, who said Azerbaijan could become a global leader in the cryptosphere if it passed regulatory legislation.

Several months later, the outlet picked up on comments by eToro’s George Verbitsky, who said a central bank issued cryptocurrency could be particularly advantageous for the nation.

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