During an annual live session held on June 7 with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the topic of cryptocurrencies was brought up by the Russian citizens. The Russian President did not make any positive comments, especially on the specific topic of Russia’s last issuing of a ruble cryptocurrency.
“Direct Line” is a Q&A session held each year with the Russian President. This year, the session lasted for four hours and twenty minutes. It is known to be an annual event broadcasted live on TV, and it allows the Russian citizens to ask their president questions regarding different issues of the country and its policies.
The call center received more than 2,500,000 questions through social media and other special applications. The questions included those related to a Third World War, the Syrian conflict, the 2016 U.S elections and its outcomes, cryptocurrencies and many others.
These questions are usually organized before the event. And the fact that the topic of cryptocurrencies was brought up indicates that it could be addressed more frequently in Russia’s future policies.
Putin on Cryptocurrencies
During the Russian President’s 16th “Direct Line,” a Russian blogger posed the following questions:
“Will Russia have its own cryptocurrency? […] Will it be controlled by the government? […] Do you think that in the near future cryptocurrency will completely replace our regular, standard money?”
According to Express, as an answer to these questions, Vladimir Putin explained that a centralized state like Russia could not have its own crypto coin since this is known to be decentralized.
Putin also addressed the topic of mining, stating that Russia does not implement any rules to regulate it but treats it cautiously and very carefully.
Putin further explained:
“The relationship of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation to cryptocurrency [is that] it considers cryptocurrency neither a means of payment nor a store of value. Cryptocurrency is not backed by anything. One should treat it cautiously, carefully.”
The President also stated that Russia should carefully watch over this crypto-economy invasion happening around the globe, with the aim of determining how Russia will take part in this phenomenon.
In his comments, Putin also noted that Russia must take into consideration “how we can use [crypto money] in order to avoid any restrictions in the field of international financial activity.”
The idea of launching a “BitRuble” or “CryptoRuble” has existed since 2015. In January 2018, Putin’s economic advisor stated that this Russian cryptocurrency could help in reducing the burden of financial sanctions. A preliminary or experimental launch of this Russian cryptocurrency was also scheduled for mid-2019.
On May 22, the State Duma accepted the first reading of Russia’s crypto-related bill. The final form of this bill, “on digital financial assets,” will be implemented on July 1.