Russia’s Renewed Cryptocurrency Hope to Push New Blockchain Reforms: Will it Succeed this Time?

Russia is well known for their single minded approach to a solution. However, on this occasion there seems to be insurmountable obstacles. In fact, the crypto conundrum has seen repeated calls from Russian President Vladimir Putin, or his officials, go unheeded. Recently the head of the Russian government has made a fresh push.

While Russia usually gives the impression of a single well drilled outfit, when it comes to crypto there is hardly any consensus. There have been multiple attempts by the government towards forming a regulatory framework. Yet, there is still a question about its legality as a form of currency. All this seems to stem from the nations inherent dislike for the essential nature of the industry: it is unregulated.

Three previous attempts demanding a regulatory framework for these digital assets have met with failure. First, when the tokens were really taking off, in late 2017. It was widely reported that Mr. Putin was keen on seeing some sort of regulations put in place for crypto-currencies. In the immediate backlash, the nations finance minister and head of the central bank derided digital currencies and touted them as a “serious risk” to investors.

The second attempt was in January of 2018, when the crypto mania was arguably at its zenith. This time the Finance Ministry announced that there were attempts being made to finalise the legislation that would regulate crypto. Even though crypto was illegal at that time, an official statement noted,”Trades with cryptocurrencies have become so widespread, a legal ban on such activity would lead to the creation of conditions for the use of cryptocurrencies as an instrument to service illegal businesses, launder criminal incomes, and finance terrorism.”

Yet, all that has come to pass since then is an announcement by the Head of the State Duma’s Committee on the Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov. He has been calling for a debate on crypto regulations, which he wants to focus on the governance of crypto exchanges and marketplaces. The timeline for this was such that the implementation was to be by the end of last month, something that obviously didn't happen.

Now it seems that the President has gone ahead and issued a deadline for the adoption of regulation by July of this year. This is ostensibly to help Russia develop some clout in the digital economy space. By regulating digital assets it is believed the nation will be able to attract more financial investment and also skirt around various sanctions that are handicapping the nations economic growth.

The news is certainly one that should be welcomed by the community. This apparent reluctance to push reforms should be seen in its historical context . After all a nation that is used to tsars and communist general secretaries running the nations affairs with an iron fist, would find it hard to adapt to the free flowing nature of the blockchain.

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