Following the announcement that El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as a legal currency on September 7, The world was abuzz with speculation about the next country joining in the ranks. The Press Secretary of the President, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Russia does not have plans, and there is no reason to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender. The Kremlin official spoke of Bitcoin as a quasi-currency and said there was “not the slightest reason” to connect quasi currencies with money-related assets.
Anatoly Aksakov, a State Duma member of Russia’s State Duma, has also stated his opinion that the move to allow cryptocurrency payments would cause is the “destruction of a financial system.” he also said that such a move could only have serious repercussions for the economy and financial structure of Russia. These remarks simply reinforce the stoic stance adopted by the Russian government in opposition to cryptocurrency throughout the years.
The dire condition of the country’s policy against Bitcoin is evident by the decision to ban the government from owning cryptocurrencies and also to require political candidates to divulge the amount they’ve invested in digital assets over the past three years as part of the plans of the Kremlin to stop the spread of cryptocurrency in the country.
Russian Investors Still Have An Affinity For BitcoinA recent survey in Russia by its Association of Forex Dealers (AFD) found that seventy-seven per cent of the participants believed that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin were a more progressive type of investment compared to traditional assets such as Gold. Ethereum is also gaining a solid foothold in Russia because Vitalik Buterin, its creator, is of Russian roots and has achieved an eminent status.
Additionally, a number of Chinese miners fleeing persecution started looking at Russia to be the next place to start mining operations. With 11 per cent of the population using e-currency, Russia occupies a crucial part of the crypto ecosystem.
The decision of Russia to say that it’s not yet ready for accepting Bitcoin as a legal tender could seem like a hint to the development of its digital ruble. The prototype for the digital ruble is expected to be complete in December, with testing to begin at the beginning of January 2022.
Gargi Sinha is working as Senior Journalist at Confea. She has completed her Masters in Journalism from Delhi University. She has interest in crypto and blockchain technology.