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Video of Putin Talking About Crypto Goes Viral, But There’s a Catch

A video of Russian President Vladimir Putin talking about cryptocurrencies has gone viral on social media after gaining traction on Twitter, with many seeing it as an incredibly bullish sign for the industry.

Despite its size, popularity, and market capitalization, the crypto industry largely remains a thorn in the eye of governments and central banks. As many countries have worked hard to introduce laws that would explicitly ban cryptocurrency trading, any recognition from an important political figure is seen as a major success for the crypto market. 

That is why when a video of Vladimir Putin discussing the possibility of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in Russia popped up on Twitter, many jumped on the bullish train and touted the interview as an important step forward for the entire industry.

But, the video that is currently making rounds in crypto media isn’t as breaking as it’s made to be—the interview with Putin was recorded and aired back in 2018. And while this doesn’t diminish the importance of the topics discussed in the interview, it bears much less weight as in crypto news standard, it can almost be considered ancient. 

It wasn’t the interview alone that caused a social media frenzy—it was also what and how Putin said in that made it newsworthy. 

In an interview with Russian news channel NTV, a Russian vlogger asked Putin some of the questions that “all young people were interested in”—will Russia ever have its own cryptocurrency? If the answer was yes, will it be controlled by the state and will it be able to completely replace Russia’s national currency, the ruble?

Putin’s answer indicated that the notorious president’s understanding of cryptocurrencies goes much deeper than one would expect. He first responded that the question itself wasn’t valid, as no country can have its own crypto “by definition.”

“If we’re talking about cryptocurrencies, they’re something that goes beyond national borders,” he explained in the video. 

Putin also noted that cryptocurrency mining was not regulated in Russia, which could present its own set of problems. However, he said that he expects new legislation to be adopted by the government that could introduce better regulation.

He also emphasized that cryptocurrencies aren’t seen as a valid means of payment in the “overwhelming majority” of countries, citing Japan as an exception. The president also reminded viewers about the official position taken by Russia’s Central Bank, which is that cryptocurrencies aren’t a means of payment or saving, as they’re not backed by anything. Therefore, an “accurate” and “careful” approach towards the new asset class is necessary.

Nonetheless, Putin did seem to recognize the potential cryptocurrencies had, saying that Russia was carefully analyzing the industry in order to see how it can participate in the process. 

According to the latest reports, Russia has drafted it’s regulatory bill concerning cryptocurrencies but there is a delay in adoption due to coronavirus concerns. The bill is set to be in usage by the end of Spring 2020. The bill will lay down rules for exchanges as well and the crypto exchanges which follow those rules and regulations will continue to be operational. The Russian official also hinted that they will not stop mining since it’s a business activity that produces value and should be taxed.

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