Much like food and water, bitcoin is a life necessity—that was the conclusion the vice president of Russian state bank Vnesheconombank came up with.
In an interview with Russian newspaper Kommersant, Nikita Smirnov described the popular digital currency as “the only successful implementation of blockchain technology currently in existence,” and likened bitcoin to a “positive bacteria.”
“Viruses are negative bacteria,” Smirnov said, according to the report. “But bitcoin in many sense represents positive bacteria which meet a person’s specific needs… and allows him to exist. Bitcoin is the world’s only blockchain technology to have achieved wide usage and which continues to exist after years of people trying to beat it down but has not failed.”
Meanwhile, Herman Gref, chief of the country’s largest bank, Sberbank, recently forecasted that an industrial-scale blockchain deployment in the country will be possible by 2019.
“Two to two-and-a-half years is the timeframe in which we could be talking about seeing blockchain technology commercially operating,” Gref said in a forum.
Last year, Sberbank partnered with the Russian government and the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) for a project called “Digital Ecosystem for Exchanging Documents,” which uses blockchain for storing documents.
The comments came as an unlikely praise of both bitcoin and blockchain, and marked a 180-degree turn for major Russian banks as well as government officials, who had been strongly opposing digital currency in the country until recently.
For years, authorities in Russia, particularly the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federations, have been very vocal in opposing digital currency in the country. In fact, ministry officials had been working on a draft law that will punish those who use bitcoins and engage cryptocurrency trade and mining activities, but that bill met strong opposition even before reaching the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament.
Current bitcoin price
Bitcoin continues to soar beyond the $1,000 price range, trading at $1,143.52 early Thursday morning.