Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov promised not to let initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Russia “die” because of regulations last week. Despite bills being prepared to regulate them, President Vladimir Putin has said that ICOs hold “tremendous potential” and should not be obstructed.
Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov spoke at a youth forum in Sochi last week. One of the forum participants asked him, “I have a big request for you, please do not let our ICOs die as a result of regulation.” The deputy prime minister then “promised the participants to defend the capabilities of ICOs and prevent them from ‘dying’,” RIA Novosti reported.
“You are absolutely right,” Shuvalov continued, noting that various countries adopt laws to treat cryptocurrencies differently. “Our immediate response is to immediately put this under regulation, to ban, because it is harmful,” he said. Confirming that the government plans to regulate ICOs, he detailed:
We still do not know if it’s harmful or not, but we are already trying to ban and close it down. If our place is among advanced countries, and we want to succeed in this competitive race and even create better standards of life than our partners we are looking at on their social economic standards, one must be a little bolder.
The news outlet then quoted Shuvalov saying at the forum, “some of my colleagues from different departments and the government say that it smacks of MMM and something else.” In early September, the Bank of Russia warned about ICO risks.
“In Russia, the need for the regulation of ICOs and cryptocurrencies, as well as the use of blockchain technology as a whole have been stated repeatedly,” RBC reported. The head of a working group on assessing the risks of the turnover of cryptocurrencies at the State Duma, Elina Sidorenko, said that the group will prepare a draft law on ICOs immediately after the draft law on cryptocurrencies has been submitted to the State Duma.
The Russian Association of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (RABIK) is also drafting a law to legalize ICOs, its president Yuri Pripachkin told RBC early this month. He described the bill as:
Most likely, it will be its own model, since other countries, when regulating ICOs, rely on previous experience of instruments for attracting financing such as IPO, crowdfunding, etc.
ICOs Bring ‘Tremendous Opportunities’
The chairman of the state-owned Vnesheconombank (VEB), Sergei Gorkov, expressed in August the need to determine the position of ICOs in Russia. “ICO is a phenomenon. From my point of view, this is an opportunity to attract additional money to the economy. It is necessary to assess the risks, which are formed in this connection, but this is one of the possibilities,” he conveyed.
At the aforementioned youth forum, Shuvalov said that Putin held a meeting in Sochi recently where he emphasized:
We need to be very careful about this so that people are not deceived so that rascals and lawbreakers do not use people’s trust to simply shake money and create pyramids…But not to put obstacles in the way of new opportunities. ICO is a tremendous opportunity.