This week Moscow is hosting the First Blockchain Conference in its Federation Council (the upper house of the Parliament). During it, a top official has confirmed that the Russian Central Bank will start controlling the cryptomarket.
Russia has been paying extra attention to the cryptocurrency market in the past three months. Thus on Tuesday, the Russian Duma (the lower house of the Parliament) adopted the digital currency law which contains provisions on how to regulate the market, execute contracts, including smart contracts, conduct ICOs, and protect the market players. The law concurrently states that “cryptocurrency” is an illegal payment method and says that the Central Bank should be the primary institution to control the emerging market.
In the light of this, the Federal Agency News (FAN) has interviewed the first deputy of the Federal Council economic policy committee, Sergey Kalashnikov. He made it clear that Russia is willing to allow cryptocurrency and blockchain but only if it has the final say.
“At the moment the Russian Central Bank is the financial politics’ main actor. Not the Minfin, not the Mineconomrazvitiya (Ministry of Economic Development), even though that would make much more sense. Hence the bank is the main regulatory body and has been allocated numerous governmental functions. It is the primary ideologist of the current financial system which is by the way inefficient,” said Kalashnikov.
Kalashnikov did not elaborate whether his somewhat sarcastic tone towards the CB is the opinion of the entire Federal Council or his private problem. However, the FAN states that a number of bank experts are ready to offer their expertise to the CB. For instance, they can advise how to both decentralize the conclusion of smart contracts and keep the more significant operations under control.
At the same time, the conference speakers noted that Russia should be the one initiating digital processes on the world arena. Moreover, it should create new technologies, not just utilize the existing ones.
“Firstly, we can make all operations and business processes more secure. Secondly, we can increase the processing efficiency and speed. Efficiency in the sense that we will not be needing people or a bureaucratic agency. The whole thing will become more simple, automatic, and based on cryptographic algorithms,” explained a mathematician and a cryptograph, Alexander Matkovskiy.
The conference, which features such speakers as CEO of NexChange, Juwan Lee, Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland in Russia, Carl Ekshtein, and representatives of the biggest Russian bank, Sberbank, is aimed to advance blockchain technologies in Russia.
Recently a representative of the Ministry of Finance, Alexei Moiseev, also said that Russia might introduce cryptocurrency on its exchange market, while Olga Skorobogatova, first deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, stated that blockchain technology remains immature.