Reports from Russia indicate a minor political party is moving to accept bitcoin donations.
The Party of Growth, a center-right party formed in 2009 under the name Just Cause, is reportedly looking to begin accepting donations in the digital currency. The move is notable given the Russian government’s complicated and long-controversial stance on digital currencies like bitcoin.
News of the donation drive comes in light of reports from Interfax and TASS that cover remarks from Boris Titov, the head of the Party of Growth and an advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin on business and entrepreneurial issues.
According to Interfax, Titov cited the need to source funding for the party from new avenues, including crowdfunding, as a motivation for the decision. Further, he reportedly indicated that the party would only accept bitcoin donations from people with verified identities.
TASS offered additional details, reporting that the party is looking at the donation effort as a means to promote the acceptance of digital currencies in Russia. According to the state-owned news service, the party is promising legislation that would ease the technology’s path to further adoption and development in the country.
Titov reportedly said during a press conference (according to a Google Translation):
“Russia can take advantage of the difficult economic situation that has developed today for us to become a very profitable country open to [blockchain].”
The pronouncements come two months before Russia holds parliamentary elections, in which the Party of Growth is seeking to gain a foothold in the national legislature.
The party currently holds no seats in the Duma, with just two representatives seated in Russia’s regional legislatures. Whether the party can move ahead with its legislative ambitions for digital currencies may be incumbent on its success at the polls later this year.
As covered previously, Russia has had a fractious relationship with bitcoin, stemming from years-long efforts among some elements of its government to outlaw the production and use of so-called money surrogates.
At the same time, financial companies, as well as Russia’s central bank, have moved to explore applications of the blockchain amidst this environment.