Russia’s Internet advisor to Vladimir Putin has announced the creation of Blockchain Association which will give “preferential advantages” to participants.

Speaking as part of a meetup organized by local cryptocurrency news portal DeCenter, Herman Klimenko said that the Russian Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association (RABIK) would come into being “within the next two weeks.”

“The new organization will unite participants from the Blockchain technology market, cryptocurrency owners including miners, as well as investors putting funds into Blockchain and cryptocurrency-based projects,” he commented.

Contradictory process

Russia is currently in the midst of a complex and contradictory regulatory process for cryptocurrencies.

Despite the government actively pursuing competition with China for Bitcoin mining supremacy, deputy finance minister Dmitry Moiseev said this week he had plans to ban cryptocurrency sales to members of the public.

He added it was “hard to argue against” the case that cryptocurrencies were a “pyramid scheme.”

The newly-born association, however, disputes the Moiseev’s notion that only “qualified” individuals should have exposure to cryptoassets.

Vladislav Obushinsky, spokesperson for the association, writes in the letter to Cointelegraph: "The association doesn't hold the same stance and is convinced this topic should be up for the dialogue with the regulators."

“Various preferences among other things will be available to participants of the association,” Klimenko confirmed.

“This will include manufacturers of equipment used in creating cryptocurrencies, the option to present technologies before potential consumers and the chance to take part in major state events.”

Russian Lawmakers’ Two-Sided Attitudes

Klimenko himself has made headlines recently for his comments about Russian exposure to the WannaCry cyberattacks and other Bitcoin viruses.

In interviews with local media in July, he said he considered up to 30% of the country’s devices were “infected” with malicious software such as Bitcoin mining viruses.

He added he suspected that the creators of the international WannaCry attack were “children” due to the relatively low amount of Bitcoin they gathered.

Not just Moscow, but local authorities continue to present a split personality on Bitcoin. A court in the second city of St. Petersburg recently banned distribution of information relating to the virtual currency, just months after the successful deployment of several Bitcoin and altcoin ATMs.

The ATMs have since disappeared, with owner Bitlish declining to comment on the reason.