Oligarch, Industry Leader Say Russia Must ‘Engage’ with Crypto, End ‘Half-hearted’ Polices

Russian policymakers have been hit with a verbal lashing from both the crypto sector and the sphere of traditional business – with an oligarch and a blockchain industry leader urging Moscow to soften its crypto stance.

In a post on his Telegram channel, the oligarch Oleg Deripaska told the staunchly anti-crypto Central Bank to “engage” with the crypto sector and “take crypto seriously.” Deripaska is best-known as the founder of Basic Element, one of the nation’s biggest industrial groups, as well as the head of the aluminum giant RUSAL.

The oligarch warned that America was pulling away in the crypto race, and that Russia risked being left behind if it continued to fail to comprehend the severity of the situation.

He was quoted as explaining:
“It is time to open our eyes and take up cryptocurrency seriously. While our Central Bank is infant-like, closing its eyes to the growing cryptocurrency market, the United States Treasury is investing in development in this sphere.”

He also opined that crypto-keen politicians in Washington were “sharpening” the “weapon of economic defeat” – namely crypto – with “renewed vigor.”

Deripaska added that crypto had the power to defeat not only “economic sanctions,” but also had the power to “bring down the dollar.”

In the article comments, however, some questioned exactly what American politicians were developing, asking if there was really any evidence that Washington indeed had any of the projects the oligarch hinted at in the pipelines. Indeed, progress on any sort of digital dollar has proceeded at a glacial pace, although the private sector has been allowed to flourish.

Meanwhile, RBC reported that the head of the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (RACIB) Yuri Pripachkin hit out at Moscow’s “half-hearted” efforts to regulate the sector.

After years of political wrangling, crypto-specific legislation is still lacking in Russia, by politicians’ own admission, and Moscow’s stance on crypto remains confusing for most observers.

Pripachkin was quoted as stating that the nation’s policy was characterized by “slowness” and “opacity.”

The RACIB chief opined:
“Absolutely nothing has been done to bring the domestic [crypto] market out of the shadows, despite the fact that the Russian sphere accounts for more than 10% of the global market. Turnovers are comparable to the government's annual federal budget revenues of USD 270 billion.”

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