Russia, Belarus “Opening Up” Slowly to Bitcoin

Russia, Belarus “Opening Up” Slowly to Bitcoin

Russia’s Central Bank has said in recent times that it did not want to legalize cryptocurrencies as they could “pose a threat to the financial system”.  However Duma lawmakers later introduced a package of three bills to decide whether Bitcoin will rejected or legalized for use, Russian media reported.

The rise of cryptocurrency has sparked intense debate on its role in central banking systems, as well as economic viability in monetary supply chains.

But the fear is shared by US officials such as Brad Sherman [D-CA], who stated cryptocurrencies could undermine the Federal Reserve, as well as US dollar dominance and sanctions power.

Russian president Vladimir Putin ordered regulations set for July 2019, but legislation has been delayed until the end of 2019, with lawmakers exercising caution in passing bills on digital currencies, Russian Sputnik news reported.

Russian central bank head, Elvira Nabiullina, has also praised the role of block chain as an “active player in the national push for the digitization of the [Russian] economy.

Sputnik spoke with Mr. Nick Spanos, founder of Bitcoin Center NYC, the world’s first cryptocurrency trading floor which was featured in the Netflix documentary ‘Banking on Bitcoin’. Mr. Spanos is urging authorities to listen to crypto innovators and keep an open mind on emerging technologies.

Mr. Spanos said that his business had opened in 2013, “back when Bitcoin had a mysterious reputation”.

“[US] regulators went through phases of not knowing what to do since [cryptocurrency] laws didn’t exist, and because they didn’t understand block chain and Bitcoin, they came down on us hard,” he said, and that many of the world’s best innovators, startups and “incalculable capital” had raced to other US states and abroad, with state officials “trying to entice them back.”

“It’s a good sign that Russia is taking its time,” Mr. Spanos said.

He added that Russia’s “openness to an offshore crypto hub” allowed the technology to “prove what it can do to make the economy and government more efficient” as well as “attract jobs and capital”


Tamara Kuzmanovic

Writer and journalist for Serbian, Swiss, Japanese and Singapore media since 1996. A former correspondent from the United Nations in Geneva. Based in the Serbian capital Belgrade I've also lived in Switzerland for 12 years. Graduated from College for marketing communication with a degree in advertising, English and public relations. My father was a Serbian MP and Belgrade University professor.

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