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New regulations governing ICOs and mining in Russia are set to come into force by July 2018.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed off on regulation of ICOs and cryptocurrency mining by July 2018.
Quoted in local news outlet RNS, the Kremlin’s press service formally announced the move Tuesday which will see ICOs included in regulatory statutes “on the basis of” longtime regulated IPOs.
In addition, the government may now legally define the status of various terms related to what the Kremlin describes as “digital technology.”
These include so-called ‘distributed ledger technology’ alongside ‘cryptocurrency,’ ‘token’ and ‘smart contract.’
Ideas for a dedicated regulatory sandbox for fintech in partnership with the central bank should also surface by Dec. 20, RNS reports.
Russian state-owned VTB Bank “has not seen a lot of interest in Bitcoin” from the country’s consumers.
Speaking to CNBC, the bank’s CEO Andrey Kostin joined its international arm CEO Riccardo Orcel in saying that contrary to popular belief, real-world usage was low and cryptocurrencies were “very dangerous.”
"There was some interest reported in the press, but I've not seen in Russia a lot of interest in Bitcoin, to be honest," Orcel told the network.
Kostin added he was “a little bit skeptical” about cryptocurrency.
"We see a lot of high speculation factor in cryptocurrencies and I think it's dangerous," he warned.
"Until the governments decide how to regulate this area I think it will be very, very dangerous for investors to invest in cryptocurrencies."
Kostin’s perspective has been widely echoed in Russian political circles. A current package of regulations is due for release by the end of year, while politicians have expressed a desire to strictly limit cryptocurrency availability to regular consumers.
Conversely, Bitcoin, Ethereum and ICOs have conspicuously entered mainstream consciousness in the country, with everything from restaurant menus to vodka emerging with a crypto theme.
Burger King Russia was the world’s first example of a global fast food giant issuing its own cryptocurrency, Whoppercoin, this year.
In addition, Russia’s largest bank Sberbank announced it had formally joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance last week.
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