Boris Titov, the leader of Russia’s Party of Growth, called for the country to legalize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and become a leader in blockchain development, according to Tass , a Russian news agency.
Speaking at a press conference, Titov also said Russia can take advantage of its difficult economic situation to embrace blockchain technology as a way to become a very profitable country.
The first step is to create a transparent legal system for the cryptocurrency. Titov said the country should create opportunities for foreign investors to invest in bitcoin by removing restrictions on such investments.
The also party proposes the following:
• legalizing mining
• recognizing “cryptocurrency object property rights”
• ensuring recognition of the blockchain timestamp network as evidence in Russian courts
• allowing cryptocurrency for payment of goods, services, and labor
• allowing the use of cryptocurrency on par with fiat currencies for investments
Titov said there are about 2 million Russians using cryptocurrency.
He said blockchain technology is developing quickly worldwide, and Russia is not an exception.
Whether or not the country can take advantage of blockchain technology depends on the country itself. Titov said the country can use blockchain to develop its economy.
Russia’s Party of Growth supports a free market economy, democracy and protecting the rights of the middle class, according to Wikipedia. While widely regarded as a pro-Kremlin party, the Party of Growth has found itself in opposition to the presidential administration on several issues.
Titov joins a pro-bitcoin/blockchain cadre facing an uphill battle against some powerful forces in Russia.
Paradoxically, the Finance Ministry is considering the issuance of a state-controlled cryptocurrency in discussions with banks and regulators.
Herman Gref, chairman of the board at Sberbank (Russia’s largest bank by assets) and former Economic Development Minister, has said the proposed bitcoin ban will hinder blockchain technology’s development in the Russian Federation.
Meanwhile, Alexander Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee, claimed bitcoin’s rapid spread in usage “will represent a real threat to the financial stability of the state.”
Russian payment platform Qiwi is trying to create a blockchain consortium that will include Russia’s biggest banks, similar to the R3 consortium in the U.S.
Featured image of Boris Titov from Shutterstock.