Russian President Vladimir Putin issued his first remarks on digital currencies yesterday, telling the nation that while the technology faces challenges to adoption, it couldn't be dismissed.
The statements, broadcast during an educational segment on TV channel Russia 24, conveyed a lukewarm response from the leader. While praising the Bank of Russia's advocacy against an outright ban on digital currencies, he also outlined a number of issues, including the fact bitcoins are "backed by nothing".
The comments, which one startup took as the "biggest sign of bitcoin legality" in Russia, follow a steady stream of statements made by government officials since the country's lawmakers first began discussing the issue last January.
The conversation is likely to escalate further ahead of the formal decision on a draft bill that would ban the use of digital currencies is still pending in the national legislature.
How did we get here? Check out our interactive timeline below for a refresher on the tumultuous history of Russia and bitcoin:
For more information on bitcoin regulation worldwide, read CoinDesk Research's latest report.