A proposal to “tame” crypto technologies in Crimea has been made in Russia’s parliament this week. A local representative of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain told deputies the republic’s jurisdiction can be used to “test the new phenomenon”. RACIB has been working on a roadmap to implement the “Crypto-Crimea” plan and set up a blockchain technology development center on the peninsula.
Testing Ground with а Special Status
Ever since its accession to the Russian Federation in 2014, Crimea has existed in somewhat extraordinary circumstances, putting up with its special status, in both political and economic terms. Internationally, the self-proclaimed republic has been placed under economic blockade after its secession from Ukraine, following the “Euromaidan”. Domestically, Crimea is a federal subject, like many other constituent entities, but also a special economic zone. Moscow is aiding its development to compensate for the sanctions. Militarily, it is probably one of the most heavily guarded territories in the country, with the Russian Black Sea Fleet stationed there.
The special status of Crimea’s jurisdiction offers an opportunity to experiment with economic initiatives before implementing large-scale projects on federal level. That can help Crimea become a testing ground for innovations related to distributed ledger and blockchain technologies. The local crypto community has recognized that potential and is trying to attract Moscow’s attention. Other federal subjects have already made similar attempts.
We eagerly expect the introduction of legislation on digital assets and crowdfunding in the State Duma.
That’s what Victoria Bilan, the local representative of RACIB, told lawmakers during a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday, Regnum reported. She added that the association supports the draft bills in general. “We understand the conservatism of the Central Bank, but we think Crimea’s jurisdiction can be used to tame cryptocurrency technologies and test these new phenomena”, Bilan said. She noted the special economic zone status of the Republic and reminded parliamentarians about the investment blockade.
Roadmap to Crypto-Crimea
The Russian cryptocurrency and blockchain association has been working on a roadmap to implement the so-called “Crypto-Crimea” plan. Some of its aspects should be presented this week at the “Blockchainrf – 2018” international conference in Moscow and during the Yalta International Economic Forum in April. The group working on the project met in early February to set the main goals. Attracting direct investments in the region was defined as a priority. They will be channeled through the creation of a dedicated Blockchain Technology Development Center expected to be opened within a couple of months.
The members of the working group, which includes representatives of the local authorities, have to arrange Crimea’s participation in the federal digital economy program as a “regulatory sandbox”. They will also make proposals to adopt a special legal framework regulating the activities of fintech companies within the Crimean Free Economic Zone.
Other Russian regions have also expressed desire to become testing grounds for crypto and blockchain technologies and spearhead their adoption in the Russian Federation. This week the head of the Republic of Udmurtia urged deputies to hurry up with the new legislation. Alexandr Brechalov offered its territory for experimental implementation of innovative crypto projects. Kaliningrad and Leningrad Oblasts have announced intentions to accommodate large mining operations and also called on the government to quickly adopt the regulatory framework.
Do you think that the special status of Crimea presents an opportunity for rapid development of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies and businesses? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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