Category Archives: Kremlin

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Russian Lawmaker Suggests Crypto for Arms Exports to Avoid Sanctions

A senior Russian lawmaker has said he believes a cryptocurrency backed by gold may be the right course of action to avoid Western-imposed sanctions on arms exports.

Vladimir Gutenev, first deputy head of the economic policy Committee at the State Duma, has called on Moscow to suspend all shared treaties with the US including the non-proliferation of missile technologies and to adopt cryptocurrency in order to avoid USD-based commerce. He called this an ”asymmetric response to the US”.

Speaking to local news outlet TASS, Gutenev claimed that the US was attempting to block Russian weaponry and civilian goods, and the way around this could be found through conducting transactions in gold-backed cryptocurrencies. He added, ”I’m sure that this will be a very interesting option for China, India, and other states as well.”

While Gutenev did not point to any digital currency in particular, the Royal Mint Gold (RMG) launched by the British Royal Mint earlier this year is the most prominently recognized cryptocurrency with a value linked directly to gold. Backed by USD 1 billion in gold bars stored in the Royal Mint’s vaults, one RMG is right now priced equivalent to one gram of gold.

Russia may have alternative cryptocurrency options, however, as President Vladamir Putin is rumored to be developing a national cryptocurrency in Moscow reportedly being dubbed the cryptoruble, even having apparently met with Vitalik Buterin to discuss the topic. Putin denied any claims of a national cryptocurrency in June this year, however.

Gutenev advocated for the Kremlin to withdraw from US treaties as the government discusses new sanctions against Russia. A discussion in the US of the proposed sanctions was triggered in April after Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict, followed by America’s sanctioning of six Russian entities due to accusations of violating its weapons of mass destruction non-proliferation treaty.

 

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Russian Bear Poised to Pounce at Fintech Crossroads

Recent statistics published by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB) shows that Russian investors appear to be at a crossroads in the fintech space.

The future of Russian cryptocurrency adoption is very much dependent on what lies ahead, particularly with regard to the Kremlin’s past stance which has never been favorable towards allowing the public to become active participants, despite government murmurings suggesting the adoption of CBDC or ‘cryptoruble’.

RACIB statistics indicate the degree to which the cryptocurrency space has been affected by scandals and corruption and a lack of clear government leadership. The resulting status quo sees half of the ICO funds raised in 2017, which amounted to USD 300 million, going to pyramid schemes, according to Bitcoin News.

While the West is predominantly concerned with finding the right balance as it discusses cryptocurrency regulation on an almost daily basis, the major eastern powers such as China and Russia look towards prohibition, over-regulation or limiting digital currencies for government use only, despite blockchain’s rise and rise in commercial enterprises.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) continue to debate the securities versus utility issue in order make final decisions over adoption, whereas in blockchain-friendly Europe, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has become a point of focus as more companies line up for conducting business using everything that fintech may have to offer.

As Bitcoin News reportedly recently, Russia is in no way short of fintech expertise and blockchain technical know-how with a major CEO presence now working in Moscow, but the cryptocurrency industry been apprehensive due to the government’s lack of direction regarding digital currency.

This could change if the Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work supports the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code. Such a move though would not automatically allow digital currency to become a legitimate means of payment, as this would require a separate law, although the initiative plans examine smart contract application.

A change in direction may be on the way after President Vladimir Putin’s recent push for blockchain technology to be part of his new “digital economy” program, saying that the country can’t be “late in the race” for blockchain dominance.

A recent Moscow cryptocurrency summit was attended by 200 speakers and over 3,000 participants, showing that the impetus for change is there in the new technology race. It remains to be seen how the Kremlin progresses and contributes towards Russia ’s technological advancement.

 

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