On 11 January 2018, the largest bank in Russia announced about an investment made in a blockchain laboratory. The head of Sberbank, Herman Gref assures the population that they need to support the digital cryptocurrency for the country’s economy.
Considering that the most of the important countries are worried about the negative effects of developing virtual currencies, such as China, South Korea or France, the banker Herman Gref argues that the Russian government should not follow the same steps as countries that are planning to introduce strict regulation for cryptocurrency usage.
On 24 January 2018, Herman Gref claimed for the national media Tass that “Before trying to regulate it, it is necessary to maintain a normal background around the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. It is necessary to explain to people that it does not store value, but right now is rather a very dangerous thing, like a lottery or a casino. It should not be banned, as it is a great new technology in development, which no one is yet able to comprehend”.
He tried to explain to the entire country that if the government introduces laws relating to virtual currencies, they should not ban their use, but just to explain to the users how it works and what they need to do in order not to create unpleasant situations for the country’s economy.
Russia tried in 2016 to adopt a law that would ban the use of virtual coins. The banker Herman Gref confirmed then that he owns Bitcoins and that the law should not prohibit the cryptocurrencies’ usage. In the same year, the Finance Ministry of Russia proposed that all Bitcoins’ owners should be detained in prison for up to 7 years. Fortunately, this hasn’t happened.
Later, the banker confirmed that he had made important transactions between Bitcoins and fiat currencies on the territory of Russia. Also, due to Herman Gref, Sberbank is an active and important member of the two large-scale blockchain technology developers: Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA) and Hyperledger Project.
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