Vladimir Putin: Russia Must Enter the Race for Blockchain Adoption

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes blockchain technology is the wave of the future, making it paramount that his country enter the race as early as possible.

Putin Pushes for Blockchain

Putin spoke about the future of blockchain technology with Herman Gref, the head of Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution. The conversation was recorded by Russia Insight, an independent YouTube news channel, and later translated by Trace Mayer of bitcoin.kn.

“We need [blockchain technology]. … Stone Age has not ended due to lack of stones, but because new technologies appeared. Those late in this race will instantly, VERY FAST, be under full dependence from leaders of these processes,” Putin said, as quoted by Mayer.

Gref has long been a proponent of blockchain, and has even argued in favor of cryptocurrency. As CCN reports, Gref believes cryptocurrencies will become an important staple of the global financial system. Last November, the Russian banker told an association of entrepreneurs that cryptocurrencies are “natural outcome of blockchain technology.”

Nation-Backed Cryptocurrency

Russian authorities have gone back and forth on the subject of cryptocurrency, but appear more convinced about the benefits of blockchian. Earlier this year, Putin orders his government to begin work on a national cryptocurrency, also known as the ‘CryptoRuble’. The orders came after Putin met with economic adviser Serge Glazev, who advised that a government-backed cryptocurrency would be a “useful tool” to fight U.S.-led sanctions.

Russia isn’t the only nation to consider developing a state-backed cryptocurrency. Estonia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and Iran are also said to be pursuing a similar objective. Last week, Venezuela launched its own state-backed cryptocurrency, the petro, which is backed by its massive oil reserves.

Though Russian policy toward blockchain and cryptocurrency hasn’t been ironed out, the country’s Finance Ministry has confirmed that new legislation is on the way. In December, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov confirmed that new rules governing taxation, mining and exchanges are being developed.

“The Ministry of Finance has prepared a draft law, currently under consideration, which will determine the procedure for issuing, taxing, buying and circulation of cryptocurrency,” Siluanov said, according to Russian news agency TASS.

President Putin had previously stated that regulations should protect investors while facilitating the growth of blockchain-based businesses. However, he has also shown skepticism over whether cryptocurrencies can truly serve as a store of value.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi