The cryptocurrency industry is waiting to see how the sector will be regulated in countries all around the world. While Russia has not embraced blockchain as openly as some other governments have, it appears as though the superpower is considering regulatory sandboxes in four regions to determine whether certain technologies, including blockchain, are worth pursuing.
Local outlet Izvestia is reporting that the four regions are Moscow, Perm Krai, Kaluga Oblast, and Kaliningrad Oblast. Moscow is the capital and most populous city in the country, boasting 20 million residents within its metropolitan area. Then initiative is supported by the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT).
The Deputy Minister of Russia, Savva Shipov, made it clear that he believes these regions are necessary as “legal sandboxes” where research can be conducted and innovation can be spurred. He believes that these regions will help to create products and services that will reach the market sooner than later.
Others are not so sure that the innovation will actually lead to any meaningful change in legislation. Vladimir Tsimberg, the owner/founder of Russian pharma company Biovitrum, believes that the government is unlikely to change its stance on cryptocurrency regulation, even if the experimentation/innovation in these four regions is successful.
Many believe that this will help to galvanize the country’s economy, which is known for offering strict regulations that often dissuade foreign startups from investing in, or attempting to enter, the Russian market. Since there are many laws that might impede innovation, the idea is that these four regions can explore these technologies without having to worry about legal implications.
The hope is that this exploration can help inform future legislation that will help Russia remain a superpower and ahead of the curve in technology and innovation. Other technologies that will be explored are virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, neurotechnology.
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