The head of Russia’s Ministry of Communications (Minkomsvyaz) has said the country will “never” legalize Bitcoin within its economy.
Speaking to journalists on the fringes of the Duma’s first Russian National Youth Forum, Nikolay Nikiforov said that while Bitcoin was to remain outside legality, adoption of Blockchain technology was “entirely possible.”
“Bitcoins are a foreign application of Blockchain technology, and Russian law will never consider them as a legal entity under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation,” he declared quoted by Interfax.
The comments add further opaqueness to the already confusing stance of Russian lawmakers to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. A host of senior figures have given conflicting views as to how Russia will treat the emerging financial phenomenon, with some saying an outright ban is inevitable.
Last week, popular social content sharing network Golos was blocked by regulator Roskomnadzor for seven days over alleged data privacy breaches, which developers are attempting to challenge in court.
At the same time, the Kremlin had announced earlier this year it is aiming to corner the Bitcoin mining market, pumping millions of dollars into taking shares away from China. It will also regulate mining by July next year.
Blockchain has always fared considerably better in Russia, and the latest noises from Moscow have only served to underline interest in its various uses.
For example, ‘self-administering’ laws could soon become commonplace thanks to implementation of smart contracts, local news sources report this week.