Russia is known for its hardline stance against bitcoin, but one political party is looking to change all that.
The Party of Growth, a right cause party representing the liberal free market economy and democracy, is pushing not only for the country to legalize bitcoin mining but also for the Russian government to officially recognize bitcoin property rights.
More than 2 million people in Russia already have their own bitcoin wallets, party leader Titov Boris told Russian language news agency TASS. Boris said bitcoin and the underlying blockchain technology could help to the country’s struggling economy.
“Russia can take advantage of the difficult economic situation Russia is dealing with today by opening up to the blockchain technology,” the party leader told the news outlet.
One of the party’s goals is to create a “clear and transparent legal regime” for digital currency, one that will open opportunities for foreign investors to invest in bitcoin.
Boris hinted that his party could convince the Russian government to remove restrictions on the popular digital currency to spur its growth in the country.
But the political leader will have his work cut out for him.
The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation is known for actively opposing the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies in the country on grounds that electronic currencies, which can be considered as money substitutes, will only bring problems to the country.
Finance officials even went as far as tabling a draft law that will punish those who use bitcoins and engage in cryptocurrency trade and mining activities. That bill, however, has met strong opposition from the Ministry of Justice even before it reached the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament.
UK Parliament reports bitcoin not involvement in terrorist funding
Bitcoin may be basking under the warm reception of many countries, especially in Europe, but there are still others who worry that cryptocurrency will be used to fund terrorist activities, such as the Paris attack in 2015.
However, a new report by the UK parliament revealed that terrorist groups like ISIL (or ISIS) still turn to traditional channels to get their funding. According to the report, cash plays an important role for the group, contributing as much as 40 percent to ISIL’s revenue.
There’s still a small possibility that bitcoin may have been used for small donations in the past, but as the UK parliament pointed out: digital currency is not a factor in terrorist funding. And even if such transactions did take place, it would be like a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of money terrorist groups receive from the banks and traditional financial systems that they control.
Current daily price and transaction volume
Bitcoin’s price fell slightly on Thursday, trading at $654.04 with a market cap of more than $10.37 billion.