In October’s piece on Bitcoin in Russia, we mentioned the country’s swiftly growing interest in cryptocurrency. This strong public interest, was, however, impeded by strict governmental regulations. Over the past year, the Russian government has been rather ambivalent about Bitcoin, although in recent months officials have moved towards embracing digital technologies—particularly Blockchain.
In June 2017, President Vladimir Putin met with the founder of Ethereum and later publicly endorsed the role of innovative technologies in boosting the Russian economy. Moreover, a new presidential candidate for 2018—Boris Titov has been open about his stance as a Bitcoin advocate. Cryptocurrencies currently don’t have a legal status in Russia but Titov has mentioned his intention of legalising Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Titov agrees with Putin regarding the potential benefits of developing a digital economy in Russia. He believes that in order to avoid economic stagnation, the country must focus on modern production as well as further agricultural and construction development with the help of cryptocurrency. The candidate also believes Russia should create Bitcoin investment opportunities for foreign investors, which would involve the removal of some restrictions. He is pushing for various initiatives to fund cryptocurrency and blockchain organisations in Russia.
In our last blog, we also mentioned a cryptocurrency known as the CryptoRouble. However, this idea has been gradually dismissed as it contradicts some of the essential aims of cryptocurrency, specifically cost reduction. The country has now decided to concentrate on applying appropriate regulations to cryptocurrencies that already exist.
While Russian officials’ stance on Bitcoin is still slightly hesitant, the Russian Minister of Communications and Mass Media Nikolai Nikiforov has expressed a more hopeful view regarding Blockchain technology. The potential of Blockchain is particularly high in the spheres of startup funding and tourism. Nikoforov has stated that a pilot construction project involving Blockchain transactions is in its final stages of preparation.