Vladimir Putin just held a meeting on the use of digital technology in finance and the implementation of innovative financial tools in Russia. The meeting, which was attended by Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Central Bank Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova and QIWI CEO Sergei Solonin, is drawing considerable attention across the bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosphere as, over the past six months, Russian adoption has been very much in the spotlight and, at the same time, up in the air.
Would Russia follow a similar path as China and take a hard-line stance on cryptocurrency in the region or would Putin and his fellow policymakers be more lenient on bitcoin?
His introduction offered some insight into the answer to these questions.
Specifically, Putin kicked off the event by outlining his belief that, in order to keep up with the global financial economy, Russia is going to have to take advantage of the benefits offered by cryptocurrency and blockchain technology going forward. He also noted that he is well aware that, in certain countries, currencies like bitcoin are becoming or have already become legal tender, as well as an investment asset and that modern technology in the banking sphere opens up a raft of potential new opportunities for organizations and citizens, with the opportunities tending towards making business activity and everyday life more convenient.
That’s the positive news.
On the other side of the coin, Putin outlined his concerns surrounding various risks associated with cryptocurrency and, in particular, pointed to the lack of a central entity that could be held accountable if anything went wrong in the future as a major point of contention as regards to governmental and mainstream adoption.
At conclusion, however, things seem to take a turn once again for the positive.
Here are Putin’s closing comments on his introductory statement in the meeting:
I would like once again to draw your attention to the need to use the advantages that are offered by new technological solutions in the banking sphere. At the same time, it is important not to create unnecessary barriers, of course, but rather to provide essential conditions for advancing and upgrading the national financial system.
If mainstream adoption is to take place in Russia, it has the potential to dramatically influence the adoption throughout the world, perhaps more than many people recognize. This latest development is a positive step (albeit a small one) in that direction.
The meeting is available in full at the official Kremlin website here.
Image courtesy of the Kremlin