Russia is making the headlines with three different cryptocurrency news. One concerning the state of cryptocurrency exchanges in the country, another in regards to a proposal for a national currency and the last one related to an investor who is purchasing power stations to transform them into mining facilities. Here are the breakdown and details of these news.
Ministry of Finance legalizes trading of cryptocurrencies, if exchange is approved
The Ministry of Finance has announced that the government is preparing a bill that will make digital currencies trading legal in the country. This comes a few months after Russian officials had blocked access to exchanges, deeming trading and investing in cryptocurrencies illegal. This is good news for Russian investors, however, it comes with a relatively big condition. Trading will only be allowed on certain exchanges that have been approved by the government. Alexei Moseev, the Russian Deputy Finance Minister has stated that investors will only be able to trade, purchase, and transfer digital currencies “on official exchanges”. Therefore, the government will still have huge control of the market, as it is deciding which exchange is approved and which exchange is not. In the future, this could mean that the government could create a centralized, government-owned exchange, which would be the only approved one. This would go against what decentralized currencies are hoping to achieve.
Vladimir Putin wants a Russian cryptocurrency, shared with other countries
The Russian president Vladimir Putin has been hoping to develop a multinational digital currency, that would be adopted by the BRIC and EEU countries, and would allow for them to interact and communicate with one another using the blockchain and the smart contracts technology. Putin has discussed with Ethereum’s creator Vitalik Buterin about the smart contract system and the Ethereum blockchain. The idea behind this multinational currency would be that countries could communicate more effectively between themselves, could adopt laws, regulations, invest into promising technologies like blockchain and smart contracts, create financial opportunities, and fluidify the flow of currency and assets between member states. This would solve many problems such as the ones the EU has been experiencing, with crises in Greece and Spain and other nations having to help them financially.
Rumors that Putin is also looking into creating the cryptorouble, a Russian, government-owned cryptocurrency, are circulating but these rumors are still unconfirmed.
Investor purchases electric power stations to create cryptocurrency mining farms
News surfaced that two electric power plants, in the Perm region of Russia, have been purchased by an investor for $3 million. These plants are going to be used as data centers, but more importantly for mining cryptocurrency. Aleksey Kolesnik, a private investor and businessman, is supposedly behind the acquisition. He aims to open mining operations once the government regulates and allows it. For now, trading and purchasing digital currencies is somewhat legal in Russia, but mining is not.
These news from the largest country in the world are somewhat positive, as it seems that Russian officials are deeply looking into integrating and allowing cryptocurrencies in the country. However, it seems that the government is very keen on monitoring and controlling the market.
TLDR: In Russia, cryptocurrency trading will now be allowed on certain approved exchanges, Putin is looking into creating a multinational digital currency, and one large investor has bought two electric power plants to turn them into mining centers.