The Russian Federation is an economic/political superpower that usually plays table tennis with countries such as the U.S. or China, although it appears to be a ‘pal’ with the later and a ‘rival’ with the United States, Russia has learned its way to becoming a strong independent power-broker from both countries.
Western capitalism is not absent from Russia as many would think. In fact, there are the same standards promoted in Russia society, including fancy cars and skyscrapers as happens in the western world, yet we’re convinced Russia is a totally different thing on its own.
On the other hand, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was not so conservative as his -pre-successors, allowing him to learn from the upcoming East as well. The Russian-China alliance may have been always a strong pact due to some common political and social beliefs, but it is even stronger nowadays.
Russia and blockchain
Most of you wouldn’t expect it, but some of the largest cryptocurrency mining facilities in the world are located in Russia. Their 90’s generation is pretty into tech, computers and internet services as it is the basic characteristic of the generation, and blockchain should be an obvious path the Russian youth would be interested in.
From Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum (ETH), to Pavel Durov, the father of VKontakte, and Telegram, Russia has been producing some interesting figures in the hi-tech scene. Did you know that even one of the original creators of Google was also of Russian origin?
So, hearing Xi Jinping’s speech last month, praising blockchain technology and talking how important it is for the country to adopt it as soon as possible in order to remain the leader in tech-advancement, I was wondering what’s Putin’s take on all that?
I mean, we saw countless EU and US policymakers, politicians, and financial regulators talk “A” and “B” trying to figure out the impact of blockchain technology and in the extent of cryptocurrencies, but what is Russia’s stance when it comes to DLTs?
Bespoke regulation or ‘follow China’
Russia is following a bespoke regulation strategy when it comes to virtual assets which is considered to be the most innovative approach, considering it allows for new policies and laws to be created if necessary, in order to better understand and subject the key differences between each blockchain-powered ‘currency’.
Countries that are following a similar approach include China, France, Israel, and Malta, and it is said that these countries offer extensive flexibility as long as a cryptocurrency can be understood and accepted by the local regulatory framework.
You can find in our archives a report categorizing the cryptocurrency regulatory framework across different countries and continents of the world.
Putin himself admitted that he doesn’t really understand how blockchain technology works, yet he understands the impact it has on social concepts such as transparency, immutability, and faster and more secure information and monetary exchange.
In a speech, he said that he believes in Russian youth, and he wants to support innovative ideas in the sphere, with the Sberbank-500 being the first central bank fund to empower hi-tech startups including some of the most popular Russian cryptocurrency projects.
I believe that this blind trust and openness in blockchain from Russia, is mainly generated by the country’s trust in the People’s Republic of China, and if Xi Jinping says we have to focus on this one, then Putin just blinks his eye on that.
Pragmatic examples of blockchain use-cases in Russia
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are regularly used among Russian netizens and government bodies. From children who pay for their virtual costumes in videogames using crypto, to nuclear facility employees who use their work’s supercomputer to mine cryptocurrencies, blockchain is all the way in the winter country.
Russian authorities are now seeking legal options to confiscate digital assets such as cryptocurrencies under the same umbrella they deal with traditional forms of physical property.
This will enforce counter-cybercrime bodies, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which intends to develop a respective law that will essentially allow gov agencies to force criminals to hand over illegally obtained digital assets, starting as soon as 2021.
Earlier this August, the municipality of the city of Moscow, was in search of a blockchain contractor who could help them develop a city-focused solution to increase the autonomous efficiency of the Russian capital, while many Russian blockchain-startups such as the popular WAVES are now offering various tokenomics solutions in an out of the country.
Russia has been through difficult times during the past decades, and so have China, and most South-Asian and Easter-European countries, which should look up to Putin’s and Jinping’s efforts, and shift their countries’ policies towards blockchain adoption.
Putin is not pretending to be a leader that knows everything and is into everything, but he realizes the vast potential offered by this innovative technology, solving problems we didn’t know we had, and offering better solutions to existing protocols of how data flows on a worldwide scale.
It’s a new dawn for global economic times, and it seems that the eastern block is this time’s first arise, while the western diplomats are still fighting over who’s central stable cryptocurrency is better and shall dominate as a monopoly in the monetary market.
Read what Xi Jinping had to publically say about blockchain technology.