1 min ago |
By Kevin Helms – |
Russian Presidential Candidate: ‘We Will Legalize Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies’
A recently-announced Russian presidential candidate, Boris Titov, is a bitcoin advocate. He promises to legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies if elected. Titov is friends with President Vladimir Putin and heads up his efforts to fight corruption. He has also repeatedly advocated for the legalization of bitcoin in Russia, suggesting the country should follow Japan’s lead.
Bitcoin Advocate Running for President of Russia
Presidential Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights and business ombudsman Boris Titov is running for Russian president in the 2018 election. The 56-year old is representing the business-oriented Party of Growth, the party announced this week.
“Titov is part of the Kremlin establishment and friends with president Vladimir Putin,” the Moscow Times described, adding that “he is also an economic liberal and heads up the president’s efforts to fight corruption.”
He told publication Mail.ru that “We will legalize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Russia” and further elaborated:
Popular cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin and ethereum, will be legalized. People will have the opportunity to store them in banks and crypto exchanges and use as a means of payment, however, only for external transactions.
Titov explained, “in the domestic Russian market, say, for a sandwich, you cannot pay [with] cryptocurrency.” He added that “it is necessary to change the Russian economy. There is a need for change in society,” noting that “we are talking about the digital economy – development of the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and IT-sphere.”
Titov Will Not Create National Cryptocurrency
Currently, the Russian government is working on developing the country’s national cryptocurrency, the cryptoruble, under the order of President Vladimir Putin in October. The first proposal for the cryptoruble has already been submitted by the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media.
Titov told the news outlet that his team was working on a similar idea:
Three months ago we thought about creating a national currency. But everything changes quickly, and we abandoned this idea. After all, the task of cryptocurrency is to reduce costs. And we realized that this [national cryptocurrency] is not necessary, it is more important to regulate what is.
Titov is Pro-Bitcoin
Titov has long been an advocate of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In July, news.Bitcoin.com reported on him asking the central bank to follow Japan’s example and legalize bitcoin.
In February, Klops.ru reported him suggesting that a region of Russia, Kaliningrad, be chosen as the pilot site for bitcoin to be used as a currency. “For example, you can pay for gasoline with bitcoins,” the publication quoted him.
However, Titov will face competition from Putin, who announced on Wednesday that he will run for re-election. Putin himself also faces challenges, as described by the Moscow Times, “the greatest other threat to his re-election is perhaps public apathy or indecisiveness, with recent polls showing that over 40 percent of Russian don’t know who to vote for, or whether they would vote at all.”