Russia Swiftly Warming up to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
While distributed ledger technology (DLT) is still very much in its nascent stages globally, the undeniable fact remains that some nations have quickly embraced the groundbreaking technology with open arms, formulating practical use cases for the blockchain, with states like Russia still sitting on the fence. However, it appears the former Soviet Union is gearing up to join the blockchain bandwagon as the co-founder and chief legal officer of Crypto PR Lab, Maria Prusakova revealed in an interview on July 18, 2018, that new blockchain-linked businesses are now springing up in the region.
Blockchain Beats Cryptos in Russia
Of a truth, blockchain technology is the solid foundation on which digital currencies are built upon; it’s also true that if not for the creation of the world’s flagship cryptocurrency by Satoshi Nakamoto and the surge in the price of bitcoin in 2017, DLT may not be as famous as it is today.
Just as in various parts of the globe, Prusakova stated that blockchain tech has the upper hand in Russia as compared to cryptos, but the situation may change shortly as officials have suggested that “legalization is in the cards.”
In February 2018, BTCManager reported that authorities in the city of Moscow were looking to integrate blockchain technology into existing systems, fostering more transparency and public confidence.
Similarly, in what seemed like a forward-thinking maneuver, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced on June 29, 2018, that it’s creating a research lab called ERA, that would look into the possibility of using DLT to identify cyber threats capable of tampering with the nation’s “critical information infrastructure.”
In spite of the snail pace at which the Russian blockchain industry is developing, Prusakova strongly believes that the momentum may be upped soon, as authorities may formulate relevant regulations that would bring more certainty to the ecosystem.
“We see a tendency amongst major Russian instructional players to promote legislative changes that would be relevant. This process is, of course, time-consuming, however, we expect developments in this area shortly.”
Bitcoin not Dead in Russia
On June 11, 2018, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a live question and answered session with citizens, that the state had no intentions to launch a central bank backed cryptocurrency, but his government will, however, continue to keep a close watch on digital assets in order not to be left behind in technological innovation.
Interestingly, on June 20, 2018, BTCManager reported that two heavyweights, Sberbank and AlfaBank were making concrete plans to start offering clients cryptocurrency-linked investments – a positive move that could massively boost bitcoin and altcoin adoption in the no-nonsense country.