Russian president Vladimir Putin’s economic advisor, Sergei Glazev has stated that cryptocurrency could be useful to carry out “sensitive” state activities, according to a report in UK daily, the Financial Times.
At a recent meeting of Russian government officials, Glazev suggested that the adoption of digital currency by the Russian government may be a way of avoiding sanctions imposed by foreign governments and private companies.
“We can settle accounts with our counterparties all over the world with no regard for sanctions,” Glazev reportedly said.
Putin has previously led the charge against the adoption of digital currency in Russia, calling for closure of websites selling digital currencies, saying that Bitcoin and its rivals were risky and used for crime. Also last month, Sergei Shvetsov, Central Bank deputy, suggested that cryptocurrencies were “dubious instruments for retail”, according to Reuters.
These news announcements mark a massive turnaround by a previously anti-cryptocurrency regime, although it has been reported recently that Putin had instructed Kremlin regulators to look into blockchain technology as the basis for a future “cryptorouble”.
Putin has begun to show clear signs that he sees Russia as a major world player in bringing blockchain into mainstream usage, stating recently that he has no intention of allowing the country to be “late in the race” and even meeting Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum.
Russia is not the first country to be considering its own cryptocurrency. Sweden’s Riksbank has looked into an electronic Krona and Venezuela’s government said last week that it was close to launching its own oil-backed currency.
Perhaps the most relevant asset that Russia can attain by using blockchain technology, apart from it enabling the country to evade sanctions, is the country’s ability to keep up with, or even get ahead of, other nations in its pursuit. Gilbert Verdia, head of the British delegation at a recent ISO blockchain meeting in Tokyo, spoke of the “the future that is coming”. He suggested, “To get behind it and back it now is going to put people at an advantage, either politically or economically.”
photo source: https://pixabay.com/en/putin-the-president-of-the-camera-889784/ – klimkin