Riccardo Orcel, the head of Russian bank VTB International, believes the Russian government’s interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are overestimated by the media.
Throughout October, Russia was said to have planned regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies, provide an efficient ecosystem for Bitcoin mining, and even launch its own cryptocurrency called CryptoRuble. Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin also met Vitalik Buterin, the co-founder of Ethereum, to discuss the potential of Ethereum network and smart contracts in major industries.
But, Orcel, the head of a leading bank and financial institution in Russia, stated in an interview with CNBC that the Russian government’s interest in the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets are overblown by media. He explained:
"There was some speculation that there was some buying coming from Russian investors, but more than these reports, as a bank, we have not seen much in terms of flows. There was some interest reported in the press but I've not seen in Russia a lot of interest in Bitcoin, to be honest. Clearly fintech (financial technology) is the future for the banking industry. For a country of the size of Russia, clearly having branches around the entire country is just not possible and fintech is the future.”
Orcel’s affirmation on the hype around the Russian Bitcoin and cryptocurrency markets is valid, as cryptocurrency trading has not even been legalized or regulated within the country as of yet. However, analysts are still optimistic Russia could evolve into the next cryptocurrency powerhouse, if it manages to regulate the Russian cryptocurrency sector with efficient and practical policies.
Andrey Kostin, president and CEO of VTB Bank, said that the interest and demand for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are increasing at a rapid rate. Kostin expressed his concerns over the lack of regulations in the Russian Bitcoin sector, given that the demand from general consumers and institutional investors in the region has been growing exponentially.
"We see a lot of high speculation factor in cryptocurrencies and I think it's dangerous. Until the governments decide how to regulate this area I think it will be very, very dangerous for investors to invest in cryptocurrencies,” said Kostin.
Particularly, analysts remain certain that the Russian cryptocurrency sector will evolve into a major market in the upcoming years because President Putin had emphasized in an official statement released by the Kremlin that the Russian central bank will follow the footsteps of other regions such as Japan to release necessary regulations for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading platforms.
"As is known, many countries are looking for ways of regulating the circulation of cryptocurrencies and are beginning to create the necessary legislative framework, a legislative regulatory system. We need – based on international experience – to build a regulatory environment that will make it possible to codify relations in this sphere, reliably protect the interests of citizens, businesses and the state and provide legal guarantees for using innovative financial instruments.”
Executives at Major Russian Bank: Russia’s Interest in Bitcoin is Overblown
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Riccardo Orcel , the head of Russian bank VTB International, believes the Russian government’s interest in Bitcoin and cryptocurrencie...