Igor Shuvalov, Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister, promised that initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Russia will not die because of regulations. During the last weeks, rumours were circulating regarding regulations on ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
“I have a big request for you, please do not let our ICOs die as a result of regulation”, asked a person in a forum in Sochi to Igor Shuvalov. Rusia’s First Deputy Prime Minister promised that he will defend the ICOs capabilities and prevent them from dying. President Vladimir Putin said that ICOs have a “tremendous potential” and should not be obstructed.
Regulations on ICOs
The first priority for Russia is not to let criminal activities occur in the country. These criminal activities could be financed by ICOs and decentralized cryptocurrencies.
“We still do not know if it is harmful or not, but we are already trying to ban and close it down. Our place is among advanced countries, and we want to succeed in this competitive race and even create better standards of life than our partners. We are looking at their social economic standards, but we must be bolder”, he commented.
During the first week of September, Russian central bank gave its opinion regarding the risks associated with ICOs and cryptocurrencies. “Cryptocurrencies are issued by an unlimited number of anonymous entities. Hence, citizens and legal entities can get involved in illegal operations, including laundering of illegal income and terrorism financing”, reads a press release from Russian central bank.
Even after those situations, Russia is not following the Chinese way of dealing with ICOs. Vladimir Putin backed the technology involved in cryptocurrencies, the Blockchain. Putin met Vitalik Buterin, founder of Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, some months ago. The meeting pushed Russian President to back a national cryptocurrency, the CryptoRuble.
It is not the first time that Vitalik Buterin meets high ranked officials from a country. Buterin had also backed Estonia’s cryptocurrency, the Estocoin.
No clear situation on cryptocurrencies
“Due to the absence of state regulation and Russian hardware, Russia is not among the world leaders in Blockchain development and implementation in bank and exchanges systems. Talented Russians entrepreneurs have to launch major ICOs abroad”, commented Alexander Ruchev of the Osnova group.
It is not clear whether cryptocurrencies are legal or not. “From a legal standpoint, transactions using cryptocurrencies are forbidden to legal entities such as companies, but they are neither allowed nor forbidden to individuals”, Arseniy Strizhenok told East West Digital news. This Blockchain and ICO expert, commented that there are different institutions taking opposed decisions regarding cryptocurrencies. While some institutions try to authorize cryptocurrencies and ICOs, others search the way to ban or restrict them. This situation only creates confusion in investors.
CryptoRuble and Moscowcoin
As CoinStaker reported, Russia announced the creation of their own cryptocurrency: The CryptoRuble. Some days later, Moscow expressed its intention to issue a local virtual currency, the Moscowcoin. This situation confuses even more. Is Russia going to accept a local currency that would erode the CryptoRuble future power? Are other cities going to take the same direction as Moscow and create cryptocurrencies? Is it just a way of promoting the FIFA world cup in 2018? At the moment, there is no clear situation regarding Cryptocurrencies and ICOs.