Cryptocurrencies are getting more and more attention of world leaders. Since the blockchain is not only a geek thing, it started to be taken seriously even by its opponents.
I can’t imagine the beginning of this article without Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia. He is one of the most mysterious figures in the world. Not just because he is a leader of one of the biggest and most significant countries, but he also has managed to maintain his infrangible position and devotion of his citizens for about 19 years. What’s more, his every term of office lasts according to the law. We can say a lot of negative things about Putin, but we can’t deny that he is smart and cunning.
Putin is known for changing his mind on cryptos. We could approach quotes like these quote like this so far:
“It is known that there is nothing behind a cryptocurrency. It can be a means of payment but not a store of value.”
“Now, people themselves bear the risks [of buying cryptocurrency]. If we create regulations [for this field] … the state would bear responsibility for a difficult situation, in which people can get.”
Cryptocurrencies – aren’t that bad?
Things started to change about a year ago. In Russia, there is an annual event aired on TV, which is called “Direct Line”. On 7 June 2018, it was Putin’s 16th occasion to answer questions asked by Russian citizens about various matters connected with the country. No need to mention that every question is strictly selected by the organizers. This edition was special because Russian blogger Artem Khokholikov asked the president questions about cryptos. He asked if Russia had its cryptocurrency, the government would control it or not. Khokholikov also wanted to know if there would be any possibility for future cryptocurrency to overtake regular money and take its position.
Putin answered that Russia couldn’t issue its cryptocurrency because cryptos are decentralized by definition. According to the President, although Japan has partially adopted crypto as a payment, it hasn’t been fully legal in other countries yet.
“The relationship of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation to cryptocurrency [is that] it considers cryptocurrency neither a means of payment nor a store of value. Cryptocurrency is not backed by anything. One should treat it cautiously, carefully.”
Putin emphasized the fact that cryptocurrencies are the “phenomenon developing in the world”, and Russia needs to follow their development to figure out how to incorporate them one day.
There were further changes half a year later. As Cointelegraph reports, Vladimir Putin issued a deadline for his government to accept laws for the digital assets industry. According to the document released on 27th February 2019 on the official President’s website, Putin has ordered to apply crypto-related regulation by 1st of July 2019.Its main objective was to build a digital economy and a framework for digital financial assets.
So far, we haven’t noticed any steps made by the Russian government. Another time, when Putin ordered legislation on crypto-related issues, the results were similar: it did not work out. Last time, in 2018 he wanted to regulate the trade of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and crypto mining by the time of last year’s holidays. The matter is still underway, and we can’t predict if anything would change in the near future, but at least Putin started to treat the subject more seriously.
While Vladimir Putin considers cryptocurrency to be noteworthy, Trump openly expresses his lack of interest in digital currencies.
He also added in the thread, that:
“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International.”
Which means that Libra would have to face a lack of support from the US government. Facebook announced that its cryptocurrency would be launched globally in 2020. There will also be established the Libra Association, which is going to bring together 28 partners of Facebook, including Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber.
Since there will be no banks included in that organization, Trump warned that if any company wants to turn into a bank, they need to become a “subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International”.
One portal has replied to President’s Twitter thread, saying that cryptocurrency is a much safer means of transaction. Unlike FIAT, every payment is easy to track and secure in the blockchain. Nonetheless, Trump stays stubborn, and he doesn’t seem to change his mind. The last quotation proves this fact without any doubt:
“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
The President of China, Xi Jinping, expressed his interest in blockchain technology during the 19th annual conference in Beijing, which was organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
“Since the 21st century began, global scientific and technological innovation has entered an unprecedented period of intensive activity. A new round of scientific and technological revolutions and industrial changes is reconstructing the global innovation map and reshaping the global economic structure. The new generation of information technology represented by artificial intelligence, quantum information, mobile communication, internet of things, and blockchain is accelerating breakthroughs in its range of applications.”
Chinese authorities have established verifiable blockchain programs in China, and about 200 private enterprises are interested in joining. It aims to help blockchain technology and industry to become more transparent and open.
Although Xi Jinping remains a crypto enthusiast, and China is one of the major players on the bitcoin market. Chinese cryptocurrency regulations are strict, it’s illegal for financial institutions to use Bitcoin for trading and ICOs can’t be conducted. Chinese Bitcoin exchanges need to wait for appropriate licenses to be published; otherwise, they can’t proceed on their domestic market.
It seems that, so far, only the Chinese government has treated blockchain technology as a potential source of benefits. I guess that a true leader can seize their opportunity at the right moment while others are still afraid of it, or don’t treat it seriously. However, we can see that the industry is constantly developing and growing; there is still a need for people who will have an adequate approach toward new technologies. As long as the person in charge stays in their comfort zone, there won’t be any change in that matter.
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