Russian Bitcoin: Large Bank Backs Digital Currency
One of the largest banks in Russia, Sberbank, with a workforce of 300,000 people and half a trillion dollars in assets, has its sights on bitcoin.
Head of Sberbank, German Gref, has high hopes for bitcoin. Gref served as the Russian Minister of Economic and Trade between 2000 and 2007. His time during the position brought about economic ease.
Sberbank is owned by the Central Bank of Russia.
Gref’s support for bitcoin dates back to last December, where he stated, “It’s a very interesting global experiment that breaks the paradigm of currency issuance.”
Government circles were well aware of his opinion, as Gref sent letters to the central bank and financial ministry. According to Bloomberg, he asked officials to intervene with parliament so that digital currencies wouldn’t be banned. Gref said that a ban on digital currency could be a “colossal mistake”. He says:
“It definitely shouldn’t be banned, it must be studied and maybe regulated properly”.
Critics feel quite differently on the issue. Well known for his dislike of bitcoin, JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon told Davos reporters that bitcoin’s success will lead to governments treating it the same as most other payment methods. Bitcoin’s purpose is to keep anonymity for users.
In addition, CEO of VTB Group Anrei Kostin has a different opinion of bitcoin then that of Gref. His view on digital currency is that they are “quite dangerous.” He and his group don’t plan on becoming involved with bitcoin or other digital currencies:
“Our monetary authorities are only now formulating their opinion about this.”
Just a week ago, the Russian parliament introduced a series of amendments causing fear in the bitcoin community. Many feared it was a bitcoin ban, but they soon found out that they misunderstood. Regulators in Russia continue to keep an eye on bitcoin.
According to Bloomberg, the President of the Russian Electronic Money Association Viktor Dostov said that he is still unsure how bitcoin will be regulated. For now, his thought on the matter is to transfer bitcoin into fiat currency.
German Gref’s positive take on bitcoin may one day convince other banks to adopt the use of digital money.
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I’m a huge fanatic of bitcoin and I care less about the executives of various banks that do not like it. Did they all really think the rest of the world will depend on them forever? They thought wrong. I understand their pain, post offices hated emails when the technology was release because less people needed stamps, news paper firms hated the internet because less people needed newspapers when the internet came along and the same applies to banks and bitcoin now. Calling bitcoin evil is just so they can keep doing things the traditional way they are familiar with, still assuming the masses is dumb. Wake up, this is called revolution!
You are so right. The banks can only drag on their way for so long. Even they can’t compete with the free market that Bitcoin has made realized in the world… It’s absolutely awesome to be living in a time where the big banks finally have a real contender. Bitcoin will go higher and higher because that’s what the world’s demand for it is telling us.