Head of Sberbank: Cryptocurrency in Russia died before birth
Herman Gref, President of Russia’s biggest bank, believes it would take years for the blockchain to reach mass adoption. As for cryptocurrencies, in Russia they are dead.
Gref held a live Q&A session with users of VK, the country’s biggest social network. Some of the questions, quite predictably, concerned cryptocurrencies and the distributed ledger technology. For Sberbank president, the future of cryptocurrencies in Russia is bleak while the development of blockchain technologies is more promising. However, according to him, it would take a long time to take root. Gref remarked:
“These technologies are still very imperfect and it would take years to bring them to the state of mass adoption. They can be used in many different ways. Everyone knows their first use, it is cryptocurrencies, but in our country it is tough. Cryptocurrency here died before birth.”
The head of Sberbank confirmed again his positive stance regarding new technologies:
“I consider it [the blockchain ] a very promising technological wonder. I see enormous perspectives both for the technology and for cryptocurrencies. I think, banning them is no good at all. People should be allowed to experiment… If we do not quite understand something, we should try and understand it first, consider all pros and contras. It can only be done through experimentation.”
Herman Gref is one of the most prominent supporters of cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology in Russia. Last year, he admitted having bitcoins in his possession. Later, speaking at a meeting with Vladimir Putin, he shared his vision of how blockchain can revolutionise all spheres of social life, from the finances to state governance. In May, speaking at Skolkovo Business School, Gref сritiсised the recent draft law banning cryptocurrencies in the country, affirming that its approval would result in “all the progress leaving the territory of Russian Federation.” In the end of May 2016, Gref shared in an interview that Sberbank is planning to launch a new blockchain-based IT platform by the end of 2018.