The position of the Russian government on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies was somehow fuzzy and unclear over the last years with some voices claiming Putin president’s support for digital currencies while other analysts taking notice of the Russian Central Bank’s negative stance regarding cryptos.
However, we are now closer to the truth as a representative of the Russian parliament indicated during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that Russian citizens will be able to hold Bitcoin only if it was purchased at foreign points of sale and exchanges operating outside the Russian jurisdiction.
Otherwise, Russian users are forbidden from buying, selling, trading or mining Bitcoin and would be fined if caught by the local authorities.
But why would the Russian government be against digital currencies?
The simple answer is that cryptocurrencies are seen as an alternative method of payment that would threaten and weaken the local currency and national economy.
We have to remember that Russia is still very much affected by the economic and financial sanctions imposed by US and the national currency has taken a blow in the last years. Therefore, authorities have no intention on further weakening the currency.
From another point of view, it has recently become obvious that Russian authorities are directly involved in funding of various groups that work to protect national interests by trying to temper with elections in US and UK and funding activities with Bitcoin, not to mention the hacking attempts and use of malicious software in reaching their targets.
We can compare the Russian and Chinese positions to crypto and the recent rediscovery of the lost friendship between the two major nations, but we have to emphasize the fact that China supports very much blockchain technology via private companies backed by state and the permission granted to large entities to continue Bitcoin mining activities. Further on, we have to mention the Chinese whales and investors that play a major role in the cryptomarket and their decisive contribution to past and present Bitcoin Bull Run periods.
The world of digital currencies continues to take shape and so does the attitude of local authorities from various countries like Russia. We should not be amazed to find Russia at the forefront of blockchain innovation in a few years from now.