The Russian minister of communications and mass media said yesterday that the country will not consider the legalization of digital currencies like bitcoin.
According to state-owned news service TASS, Nikolai Nikiforov stated: "Bitcoin is a foreign project for using blockchain technology, the Russian law will never consider bitcoin as a legal entity in the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation."
However, Nikiforov added that it is "quite possible" that Russia could consider using blockchain technology, as well as various digital tokens. However he did not provide any context in which the technology might be utilized.
Last month, the country's Communications Ministry drafted a document to the government detailing technicalities related to the adoption of cryptocurrency technology, indicating there is a interest within Russia for speculative foreign instruments.
Nikiforov noted at the time:
"I think we should go ahead from the technological viewpoint, providing such instruments. It is hardly possible to get anything via restrictions amid digital economic development."
The comments come after the release of statements from Russia's Communications Ministry in May, suggesting that Russia could implement blockchain regulations within the next two years.
While the Russian government takes a generally negative stance on bitcoin, the country's officials have made a number of pro-blockchain statements in recent days.
Just a week ago, a senior official at Russia's central bank said initial coin offerings (ICOs) could drive funding opportunities for startups. And, a week prior, the head of Russia's Federal Agency for Tourism predicted that blockchain could transform the country's tourism industry.
Nikolai Nikiforov image via Shutterstock