Bitcoin is a global digital currency. Even though it can be used by anyone to make transactions across geographic borders the same way as transacting in a neighborhood store, its acceptance varies from one country to another. Like many other countries, bitcoin regulations are a bit ambiguous in Russia.
While there has not been much clarity regarding the legality of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country, a private firm has now come up with an idea of creating a Russia specific digital currency. The digital currency is aptly called BitRuble. It is an initiative by a Russian Payment services company Qiwi.
The company has already invested millions of rubles into the project. By doing so, Qiwi has initiated a high risk project in the country, which will also garner huge rewards if successful. The BitRuble project has already started a debate in the country. One of the main concerns regarding BitRuble in the government departments is that the digital currency can potentially be used for laundering money and financing terrorism in the region. The financial ombudsman, Pavel Medvedev has been very vocal against BitRuble. He also went on to call the BitRuble as an example of hooliganism and a show of criminal tendencies.
Russia currently does not have a standard set of regulations regarding bitcoin and other digital currency usage, which has created a confusing environment in the country. To make matters worse, different government bodies in Russia has been expressing conflicting statements on the same.
BitRuble has also received support from few of the unlikeliest of places in Russia. Those supporting BitRuble includes Sberbank’s German Gref who mentioned about the bitcoins he owns in one of the interviews. Even PayPal Russia’s head of online payments, Vladimir Malyugin has expressed his support to the creation of a new digital currency for Russia. We can expect new developments to follow soon, as Moscow might introduce digital currency regulations.
I see, I think and I do… passionate about digital currency, start-ups and social good. I believe that if you mix them right, you can change the world. Find me @gautham_n on twitter or /gautham,nm on facebook
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