Russia knows what you're thinking: You'd like to make the currency of the world's leading kleptocracy's the next dollar or euro. But there's something missing. It's not the corruption or lawlessness or instability or dead lawyers. It's just that you shouldn't have to write out "ruble" over and over and over again.
Everyone knows that real currencies—reserve currencies—have a symbol, a way to turn four or five or six keystrokes into one. And what better way to find one than with an online poll?
Russia has chosen an official symbol for its national currency as part of an effort to encourage the use of the ruble in international trade and as a potential reserve currency.
After narrowing down around 1,000 possible options to just five, the Bank of Russia opened the process to the public, placing its top picks on its website in early November and giving Russians until Dec. 5 to vote for their favorite….
The idea of creating a symbol for the ruble to rival the $, € and £ signs emerged in the 1990s. The central bank said it had been inspired by the European Union's introduction of the euro. But after Russia defaulted in 1998, talk of creating a symbol waned while the country focused on straightening out its financial affairs.