Russia Needs to Get Into Cryptocurrency As Early, Says Vladimir Putin

Russia is considering a bill to legalize cryptocurrencies since they are illegal. The country was also working on a national cryptocurrency project 

Russia needs to get into the “cryptocurrency” race now to avoid a late entry that would force the country to rely on others that adopt blockchain early.

This is according to the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. He said this during a meeting with Herman Gref, who is president of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.

Putin was responding to a proposal by Gref regarding the implementation of blockchain technology at the bank. He said although the bank would do so, they need professionals in the field.

He said there was a need for careful regulations to prohibit virtual currency.

“Caution is needed, but it is clear that we need legislation on the matter because this technology has a huge impact.  Colleagues and citizens of the country may ask: why do we need all this? We have oil, gas coals, metals of all kinds…everything! But we need to further advance. This is what we need”.

He referred to a popular analogy used in many ways, including by renewable energy proponents to ridicule the Peak Oil concept. The Peak Oil Concept suggests that oil constraints are never a problem and never will be so we can just sit back and relax and let everything work itself out.

He said,

“The stone age has not ended due to lack of stones, but because new technologies have appeared. And now new technologies appear in the world.”

The Russian president asked the finance ministry to look into “cryptoruble,” a national cryptocurrency project. Finance minister said last month that he would support financiers to develop a Russian virtual currency but not the government.

He said attempts to use cryptocurrency to lure foreign investment will force the need to change it for the foreign currencies.

Upcoming laws to legalize crypto

Russia has laws that prohibit Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a payment method. However, they will be legal once a draft legislation introduced last month passes into law. The new bill was the legalization of cryptocurrency although it prohibits the use of them in illegal activity.

The central bank said the law is not strong enough and needs strengthening.

However, the bank’s implementation of blockchain will not be Russia’s first attempt on the blockchain. For instance, the country is testing an Ethereum-based voting system for its Active Citizen platform.

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David Kariuki is a journalist who has a wide range of experience reporting about modern technology solutions including cryptocurrencies. A graduate of Kenya's Moi University, he also writes for Hypergrid Business, Cryptomorrow, and Cleanleap, and has previously worked for Resources Quarterly and Construction Review magazines.

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