Blockchain Goes the World – Developments in Russia

Global Developments of Blockchain Technology

The Road towards Integration

Hello PURA Lovers! Beginning with Russia, our series “Blockchain Goes the World” is going to feature adoption of blockchain technology and developments in countries all over the world. Cryptocurrency markets are in a phase of consolidation as governments have been taking a range of stances towards regulation and integration.

Cryptocurrencies in Russia

Following a decade of moderate growth, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies underwent historical gains last year. Sharp falls in this trend coincided with the news that Russia and China would begin cracking down on trading. As Bitcoin led in the fall of other cryptocurrencies, Russian premier Vladimir Putin added fuel to the fire. He announced that legislative regulation was in the works. Headlines and rumor mills were all over the map, from Russia criminalizing cryptocurrency as a “money substitute” to “Goin All in on Bitcoin”. However, those who had stayed abreast of current events and markets understood the truth lay somewhere in the middle.  

The boom of 2017

In early 2017, Russian news reports suggested the popularity of cryptocurrencies was rising across the country. By mid-year, cafés and restaurants in Moscow began accepting crypto payments. Mining became so popular that computer stores throughout the region reported shortages in graphic and video cards. The rush boosted sales in blockchain mining hardware and equipment. Burger King rolled out the Whoppercoin in Russia. At the same time, finance minister Anton Siluanov announced Russia would treat cryptocurrencies like financial securities. At this point, China was stifling the industry by closing Hong Kong exchanges. Still, good news out of Russia helped spur a bull market that catapulted cryptocurrency values to historical highs. Then came the market crash. Russia, in conjunction with other nations, pumped the brakes by prompting immediate plans for legislation. 

Endorsement of Blockchain Technology

Though still unpredictable, the markets have buoyed. Developments are becoming less reactive to headlines while Russia sets new sights on the technology underlying cryptocurrencies – the blockchain. According to TASS, Putin formally endorsed blockchain technology earlier this year during a meeting with president of Russia’s largest bank. He rallied the country to advance itself by declaring, “Those who are late in the race would be dependent on leaders who adopted blockchain early and Russia cannot allow this.” In the meantime, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, solidified blockchain’s promising future at a meeting with Plekhanov Russian University of Economics students. He announced plans to integrate blockchain technology into the country’s governance system.  

Currently, the Russian government is drafting regulatory framework for blockchain technology. The city of Kaliningrad has begun to pilot its own blockchain payment system. Simultaneously, Moscow follows through on its pledge to develop a voting ledger based on Ethereum for the Active Citizen platform. This is a social network allowing nationals to influence city management decisions during urban transformation. So, while Russia may not fully embrace the crypto-revolution, it’s clearly intent on exploiting the world’s leading software platform for digital assets in a global effort to transform both industries and lives. 

Supreme Court Decision

Most recently, the Supreme Court of Russia has requested the City Court of St. Petersburg Court to review an appeal involving a website providing information on cryptocurrencies that has been blocked, possibly paving the road towards a more flexible approach.

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