One of these days the news emerged that Bitcoin trademark was
registered in Russia; - Certificate No 552645 was issued to “Bitcoin”
company founded by Alex Fork from Russian Blockchain.community.
According to the patent holder, his company does not have any plans to
use this trademark for commercial purposes. Instead, “Bitcoin” is aimed
to provide an opportunity to use cryptocurrency to anyone who wishes to
do so without any fear that somebody will monopolize it.
By the way, according to experts, this is by no means the first
attempt to register “Bitcoin” trademark in Russia, it is just the first
successful one. Though the patent can be challenged, Alex Fork told
that RosPatent registered both text and design elements of the
trademark up to 30th of December 2023.
However, the attitude to cryptocurrency in Russia is controversial:
this electronic money have vocal opponents, as well as advocates. For
instance, Russian Ministry of Finance, headed by Mr Anton Siluanov,
qualified Bitcoins as quasi-money and proposed to introduce criminal
responsibility for their distribution. Russian Anti-bitcoin bill has
been under development for years, and currently is practically ready to
be presented to Parliament. According to the bill draft, persons found
guilty could get 3-7 years in prison. The Parliament is expected to
review the bill not later than the first decade of July 2016.
Russian Ministry of Finance claims that this bill will protect
consumers. According to the cryptocurrencies opponents, their main fear
is that the new currency could lead to depreciation of national
economy, which currently is going through the rough period.
RF Investigation Committee and its chairman, Mr Alexander Bastrykin,
say ditto to Ministry of Finance. Mr Bastrykin believes that in the
long run cryptocurrency and other quasi-monies can undermine the
financial stability of the country. He is saying that quasi-money could
lead to increase of money turnover and gradually force out Russian
rouble from the currency market. As a consequence, Russia will lose its
profit made on money emission.
On the contrary, Mr Andrey Lugovoy, the chairman of State Duma
Security Committee, raised his voice against the bitcoin ban. Mr
Lugovoy is sure that before banning anything we should study a
potential of such financial tool and estimate the prospects associated
with its turnover. He believes the Finance Ministry position is wrong
and may result in a situation when not only bitcoin but Blockchain
itself will disappear from the Russian market. Blockchain is a new
program granting a high level of protection against cyberattacks and
closely connected to virtual currencies. High potential of the new
technology is indisputable, it will allow exchange any data, including
financial data, with high level protection, therefore it is critical to
promote its development by all means, and, among other things, to
officially allow bitcoin in Russia.
According to Mr Lugovoy a special working group was created in
Parliament to assess the prospects of cryptocurrency, and to provide a
conclusion if it is quasi-money or actual money which could be given a
chance for country-wide circulation inside Russia.
RF State Duma scheduled an special international conference devoted
to electronic currency and all possible aspects of its circulation, it
will be held on the 2nd of June 2016. Mr Lugovoy will be one of the
participants. Supposedly, scientists, parliamentary deputies,
businessmen, experts and all interested parties, both Russian and
international, will take part in the discussion.
Another conference dealing with digital currencies was held earlier
this month – “Blockchain and Open Platforms – 2016“. Russian bankers
and payments service providers, such as Qiwi and WebMoney, took part in
the discussion. These and other events show that not everybody supports
potential banning of cryptocurrency in Russia and many people show
sincere interest in electronic currency development in Russia.
Economists believe that such controversial attitude to bitcoin in
Russia is caused by slackening of economy and falling of the rouble. In
such circumstances local citizens try to secure their savings and are
looking for all the possible ways to do it. The use and the purchase of
electronic monies is one of the possible ways But the problem is, you
cannot control electronic financial tools, as opposed to dollar or
euro. That is why the issue of “to use or not to use” cryptocurrency in
Russia is still open and becomes more and more critical. According to
economists, the decision on bitcoin – whether it is yes or no – will be