Russia is a country that has maintained its status as a superpower and a force to be reckoned with. Thus, it was no surprise that Vladimir Putin, the current president of Russia, openly addressed and offered his support in joining the race to advancing as a state with blockchain technology by their side. The annual Direct Line Q&A session was held on June 7, 2018 in Moscow, with Vladimir Putin offering his input on various issues – including the widely addressed topic of cryptocurrencies.
His statements can be considered very neutral, since he neither praised nor downplayed the “phenomenon”: cryptocurrencies. When asked if Russia will have its own cryptocurrency one day, Putin said he doesn’t see such an outcome as possible because cryptocurrencies are beyond the national borders. He stated that The Central Bank of the Russian Federation didn’t view cryptocurrencies as a viable settlement or payment option. Furthermore, he brought attention to the unregulated nature of these currencies and encouraged individuals to exercise caution if they chose to engage within the blockchain domain.
Putin also stressed that before diving into the world of blockchain, it was imperative to first understand its workings and consequences. Overall, it would seem that the Russian president has definitely given blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies enough thought, and has been able to form a carefully thought out opinion based on the ongoing events and reactions in the world.
The relationship of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation to cryptocurrency is that it considers cryptocurrency neither a means of payment nor a store of value. Cryptocurrency is not backed by anything. One should treat it cautiously, carefully — Putin
This however, is not the first time Putin has been questioned about his thoughts on blockchain or its impact on the undertaking of different financial matters. According to TASS in January 2018, Putin acknowledged the need for proper legislation should Russia choose to get involved with blockchain technology. Putin definitely did not make empty promises, because the Russian Ministry of Finance was supposed to regulate a bill concerning financial technologies a month later – in February.
Cointelegraph noted that in February 2018, Putin was also in conversation with Sberbank’s President, Herman Gref, when he announced that Russia must continue to compete and remain at par when considering blockchain technology. With an aim to still be considered as a leading force in world politics, it is important for Russia to excel in all fields of technology and innovation. It is impossible to ignore the breakthrough blockchain technology and the slow rise in the popularity of cryptocurrencies.
We should be watchful of what is happening in the cryptocurrency world and we have to figure out how can we take part in it and use it perhaps to by-pass any trade restrictions – Putin
While cryptocurrencies do contain as many benefits as they do risks, significant efforts must be put into, at the very least, understanding the workings behind it and innovatively including these into financial policies and actions. Hence, to understand cryptocurrencies it is also important to curate experts in these fields who can offer unbiased, intelligent opinions of the workings behind blockchain and, subsequently, create plans to help teach and explain these workings to other officials concerned.
Putin is not wrong in voicing his concerns, but he still has an open mind and a positive attitude to approaching blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. Since this has been a topic of conversation since the start of the year, it will be interesting to see how Russia chooses to proceed after implementing the right policies and passing the necessary legislature.
Listen for yourself what Putin has to say about Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain
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