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Central Bank of Russia works on the Blockchain

Central bank of Russia is continuing to work and study blockchain applications, having announced the creation of a new FinTech group focused in part on the distributed ledger.

Officially formed on 28th December 2016, the Russian group includes representatives from several important Russian banks including Alfa Bank, Sberbank and VTB. Also, it includes payments processor Qiwi and the National System of Payment Cards (NSPK).

Earlier this week, the company said Qiwi CEO Sergey Solonin will be the association’s new chief.

In addition to the blockchain, Central Bank of Russia explained it will also investigate identification technologies and new payment system frameworks within the group.

Olga Skorobogatova, or the bank’s deputy governor, explained in an official statement:

“The Association’s key objectives will include the development and introduction of new technological solutions to ensure the development of the Russian financial market. It will also promote digitalisation of the Russian economy.”

This news reveals that Bank of Russia intends to play a leading role in the test and development of blockchain applications within the country and not only. Its interest in the technology is not a secret.

Recenlty, the Russian central bank has been undertaking a hands-on education into the ledger, announcing a new system for financial messaging called Masterchain back in October to improve its national payment system.

Also, the Russian government has been exploring the blockchain and it announced that Bitcoin is not an illegal method of payment.

Click here to read more news about Russia and Blockchain. 

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Bank of Russia is working on the blockchain

the bank of russia, russian central bank, blockchain
Bank of Russia has revealed its decision to study the potential applications of the blockchain. 
On Sunday 28th, February 2016, the central bank, in fact, has announced that they started to analyse the “advanced technologies and innovations in the financial market”, including the blockchain.


Previous statements in Russia

Bank of Russia’s deputy chairman Olga Skorobogatova previously commented:
“The development of modern financial markets is inseparable from the development of financial technology.”
Also, Rambler News Service has reported that Skorobogatova previoulsy commented in 2014 that the Russian central bank thinks the blockchain can have an important role in the future:
“In 2017-2018, we will see real examples of the use of this system. As a closed system, I think the blockchain is the future, and we need to prepare for it.”
In the meantime Russia is supporting a possible “ban on monetary surrogates”, a definition that also includes digital currencies.
In fact Russia’s Ministry of Finance, State Duma and the Investigative Committee have previously commented about the use of the blockchain within their businesses.
Also, earlier this month, Bank of Russia’s head, Elvira Nabiullina, stated that the Russian bank was “monitoring the blockchain to develope its own approach to financial innovation”.

How banks want to improve their users base



“Users of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies now number 200,000, with only the US, China and Germany having higher numbers”,
reported member of the Russian State Duma, Andrei Lugovoi.
In fact, Lugovoi stated that the Russian central bank is now positive for a “careful approach to bitcoin and saw a serious economic potential” in the blockchain with the likely objective of a potential growth of their users.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin russia

Bitcoin Russia: a new law proposition by Russia’s Central Bank

The Bitcoin Russia saga is continuing to move on, as the Russia’s Central Bank is writing a new law focused on digital currencies.

Reports suggest that the Bank of Russia is looking to recognize digital currencies as digital goods, so they will be subjected to regular taxation.

Also, this law will include info on how the government will keep an eye on and regulate domestic marketplaces.

According to Bloomberg and RBC, in fact, deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova discussed her institution’s work on new legislation.

On May 25th, Skorobogatova explained that legislation could be introduced in the Russia’s national legislature – or the so- called Duma – in June.

Digital currencies “should be regulated, because volumes are increasing compared to the previous year. If people are engaged in this, they have to pay money for it, and we have to have a clear understanding of how to control this activity”, explained Skorobogatova, according to a recent report published by Bloomberg.

So, Russia is moving ever closer toward some kind of legislative framework for bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Initially, the government seemed to want to take a contrary stance on the creation of issuance of the money surrogates and Russian officials revealed their idea to ban bitcoin as illegal.

That position has changed during the recent months, and the enthusiasm on the blockchain started to increase among both officials from the Bank of Russia as well as the Russian government.

For example, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev pushed for research into public applications of the distributed ledger tech.

Read more about Bitcoin Russia regulation here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Russian Banks work on a Blockchain Unit

Russian Banks work on a Blockchain Unit

A few days ago Russian Banks and public institutions revealed that they will create a unit that aims at studying blockchain applications.
Announced on July 1st, this private consortium includes QIWI, B&N Bank, Khanty-Mansiysk Otkritie Bank, Tinkoff Bank, MDM Bank, and Accenture.
The project was announced during the 25th International Financial Congress in St. Petersburg, hosted by the Russian Central Bank.
This unit focuses on the development of “blockchain proofs-of-concept, work on joint research and policy outreach, and the creation of technology standards”. 
The idea for this project came when the QIWI revealed its hope for creating the so-called “Russia’s R3CEV”, a group of financial services focused on the distributed ledger. 
CEO Sergey Solonin explained:

“I’m convinced that the Consortium, which brought together the Russia’s largest financial company, is able to become an effective platform for multilateral cooperation in exploration, launching innovations and their implementations in financial services.”

Bank of Russia works on the Blockchain

Bank of Russia is not new to an involvement with the Blockchain, in fact,
A few months ago Olga Skorobogatova of Bank of Russia explained that “the development of modern financial markets is inseparable from the development of financial technology”, when the bank revealed his purpose to start studying the distributed ledger back in February 2016.

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bitcoin in russia

Bitcoin in Russia: regulation will take place in 2019

Russia’s Ministry of Communications (Minkomsvyaz) has revealed it is looking for legalizing Bitcoin in Russia and the blockchain technology by 2019.

The local news agency called TASS talks about a document about the Russia’s Digital Economy of the Russian Federation project, which lays out a timeframe for creating and passing the blockchain regulation.

The document quoted the following:

“bringing into effect regulatory acts governing the possible use of technology for decentralized registers and legal certificates.”

Back in March, prime minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed Minkomsvyaz and its counterpart Ministry of Economic Growth (Minekonomrazvitie) to “study to what extent Blockchain would be applicable to our system of government.”

During the last year, Bitcoin in Russia has solidified from a rhetoric point of view also because the Russian Central Bank decided not to ban digital currencies including Bitcoin and this news was useful to calm businesses and users’ after a few years of uncertainty when Russia stated it would ban cryptocurrencies within the country.

Then, back in April, 2017, Russia announced it would recognize Bitcoin by 2018, but monitoring each transaction.

Read more about Bitcoin in Russia here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin in russia

Bitcoin in Russia: transactions will be monitored

Bitcoin in Russia will be officially “recognized” by 2018, but each transaction will be subjected to monitoring.

In a recent statement by the Russian central bank, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev explains – in an interview quoted by Bloomberg – that a legal position about Bitcoin in Russia will be taken in the next future.

Recently, bitcoin and altcoins had been put aside regarding regulation, with users and companies operating in Russia threatened with takedowns and jail.

In October, Russian communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to a peer-to-peer marketplace called LocalBitcoins, but developers responded by setting up a new mirror site, LocalBitcoins.net.

“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain. If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations,” said Moiseev about the Russian government position.

While digital currencies are still yet to receive an official status, Bloomberg reports that they will be treated as assets, cash or security by mid-2017.

Back in January, Deputy Olga Skorobogatova (Bank of Russia) commented that authorities “would not like to concretely block anything” instead of “understanding how to approach cryptocurrency and from this generating a basis for regulation.”

Read more about Bitcoin in Russia by clicking on the blog post titles below.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
bitcoin in russia

Russian Blockchain to improve national payments

Today we want to talk about the recent Russian Blockchain interest and the country major announcements related to bitcoin and the distributed ledger.

According to Economic Times, Russia wants to use the blockchain technology to improve its national payment system and to simplify clients’ identification.

The Association of Financial Innovation (AFI) in Russia, in fact, prepared a draft for improving the regulation of its own national payment system.

This draft has been shared for a first discussion on the Association’s official web site. After this discussion, the roadmap will be presented to the Russian Duma, the Ministry of finance and the Bank of Russia.

According to the official article, the roadmap includes the use of the distributed ledger technology for users identification. Here an extract:

“Along with expansion opportunities in the short term transactions under the simplified identification of clients, develop an approach and implement a single identifier (possibly using blockchain technology)”.

The Association for Financial Technologies Development (FinTech Association) was recently setted up by the Bank of Russia.

Its participants will study and test the most promising technologies, including the distributed ledger, open application program interface (open API) and remote identification technologies. Also, the association will create a single payment space both for households and legal entities.

Russian Blockchain Interest

Earlier in 2016, the Bank of Russia revealed its technical prototype for financial messaging, based on the blockchain and called Masterchain.

This tool would allow instant confirmation of data; also it would create a few financial opportunities for the market participants to provide game-changing products and services to their clients.

Recenlty Russia seems to love the Blockchain very much. In fact, the national tax authority recognized Bitcoin as a foreign money, expressing the legality of Bitcoin use and transactions.

Also, Siberia Airlines revealed its use of the Ethereum Blockchain Smart Contract in a few transations. 

To read more about Russian Blockchain projects, click here.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Saxo Bank Bitcoin Prediction for 2017

Today the Danish investment bank published its Saxo Bank Bitcoin Prediction for 2017, where it explains that wouldn’t be surprised if the bitcoin price will see huge growth during next year.

Saxo Bank, in fact, recently published its annual “Outrageous Predictions for 2017”, a list of speculations that represent its effort to get financial industry think about more possibilities and revolutionary projects for the next year.

In addition to the prediction that UK will not actually leave the European Union (EU) and that Italian equity prices will soar thanks to the European Union led bailout, Saxo Bank affirmed that the bitcoin price will reach a value of more than $2,100 by the end of 2017.

Among its reasons the prediction explained that the American President’s administration might cause turbulence in the American economy, so this can be a good reason for people to invest in digital currencies like bitcoin.

Saxo Bank Bitcoin prediction explains:

“If the banking system as well as sovereigns such as Russia and China move to accept bitcoin as a partial alternative to the USD and the traditional banking and payment system, then we could see bitcoin easily triple over the next year going from the current $700 level to +$2,100 as the block-chains decentralised system, an inability to dilute the finite supply of bitcoins as well as low to no transaction costs gains more traction and acceptance globally.”

Altough this Saxo Bank prediction doesn’t represent an official position, it is not the first bullish indication the bank has made during its career.

In 2014, then-current CEO Lars Seier Christensen explained his personal interest in bitcoin, describing it as a great opportunity for worldwide investors.

At the time, Christensen had also mentioned about early testing of the technology within Saxo bank, although later he explained that liquidity problems at the time were keeping banks on the sidelines.

Source: coindesk.com

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio
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Russia Bitcoin recognized by tax authorities

The uncertainties about the relationship Russia Bitcoin were finally disappeared.

In an official document published a few days ago on November 29th Russia’s federal tax service expressed its new position regarding the legality of Bitcoin use and transactions.

In fact, the document finally explained that there is no legal prohibition of digital currencies in Russia.

Russia Bitcoin and uncertainty

For almost three years it was not clear if the Russian authorities  wanted to ban or accept Bitcoin and introduce several penalties.

Somewhere during this period, the Russian ministry of finance commented about the possibility of a four years imprisonment introduction for people involved in the Bitcoin use.

Also, even bank officials sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from holding certain positions.

However, Russian authorities changed their idea and gave the ministry of finance a new directive to write a law on Bitcoin.

For Russia Bitcoin is a foreign currency

The federal tax service’s document affirms the legality of Bitcoin and indicates that all trading operations related to Bitcoin and any other digital currency are to be considered as foreign and external securities.

In fact, this document essentially defines the buying and selling of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies a monetary transaction.

Bitcoin for Money laundering and terrorism

However, the document also explained that Russian authorities will investigate about people who use Bitcoin for money laundering and terrorism.

Even if this calls for KYC and AML from exchanges is yet to be clarified by the Russian government as there are more interpretations that are yet to be communicated.

Source: Coindesk.com

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Blockchain Japan Banks: a new Consortium

42 financial institutions created a new Blockchain Japan Banks Consortium focused on decentralized payments.

Created by the financial service called SBI and co-launched with the distributed ledger startup Ripple, this new blockchain consortium includes a wide range of large and small companies and institutions. The creation of this blockchain consortium comes a few days after SBI revealed that it would work to create its own digital currency exchange in Japan.

Members involved in this new program want to share resources and work on a cross-border proof-of-concept, with the goal of creating a new common ground for commercial-scale products in 2017.

SBI explained in a statement:

“The Consortium will promote discussion, from both technical and operational perspectives, on activities required in domestic and foreign exchange services to utilize blockchain and other new technologies, consolidate domestic and foreign exchange services, and build 24-hour and real-time remittance infrastructure, and will try to finish PoC by next March to move forward commercial base.”

Also, SBI explained that efforts to create this blockchain consortium began in August, with the first goal to involve 15 member banks, but the group has rapidly increased its members during the promotional period, the company commented.

This blockchain Japan Banks consortium created by SBI is the latest effort of its kind. Similar groups have been created in recent months among Russian financial companies and European insurance brands. Read more here.

<img src="/images/blockchainjapanbanks.jpg" alt="Blockchain Japan Banks" height="264" width="350" />

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio