The Bitcoin Foundation has established a foothold in Russia in the form of a national cryptocurrency development fund under the name of the Crypto Currencies Foundation Russia (CCFR). According to the founder, Igor Chepkasov, the fund will serve as the first step in the development of a fully-fledged BTC Foundation in the Russian Federation.
The foundation will promote the usage of various forms of virtual currencies and bring together the Russian virtual currency community with the aim of promoting the interests of its members on the Russian market as well as abroad.
Their mission statement on their official website reads:
“Our mission in Russia to promote the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and represent the interests of the Russian Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies community. Our primary purpose is to support our members in their efforts and to promote Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use. On a wider level we provide support in government policy making, business and technical expertise.”
The national cryptocurrencies development fund will work with private citizens, organizations, and government institutions, international ones included.
Presumably, the foundation will partner up with private individuals as well as companies and businesses, which use virtual currencies in their day-to-day operations or operate in markets in which they circulate.
The newly established foundation will be headquartered in the city of Saint-Petersburg. This may be seen as a strategic move to distance itself away from Moscow and the Central Bank of Russia, which previously stated
that the “emission of money surrogates is prohibited on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
It will be interesting to see how this conflict of interest plays out in the near future as the Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office recently asserted their stance on Bitcoin as reported by a Rueters press agency:
“Systems for anonymous payments and cyber currencies that have gained considerable circulation — including the most well-known, Bitcoin — are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals or legal entities.”
The Russian government considers transactions involving Bitcoin as “potentially suspicious” since it links its usage to illicit activities.
In the near future, the CCFR is planning to hold a general meeting of the Fund members who will elect a head of the Council, the Audit Committee, and the Supervisory Board. Igor Chepkasov of the CCFR has stated that he will likely remain “just the founder” of the Foundation as it finds an appropriate candidate for its head.
Nevertheless, he reassured that he would continue to support the cause and actively participate in the work of the Crypto Currencies Foundation and the Russian Bitcoin community as a whole.