Moscow and three other Russian regions will legally pilot the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, local media outlet Izvestia reports on April 24.
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development is reportedly planning to test now-unregulated emerging technologies such as blockchain and crypto, as well as augmented and virtual reality, quantum tech, artificial intelligence and robotics.
As Izvestia wrote, the currently unregulated technologies are planned to be tested as an experiment in Moscow, the Kaliningrad and Kaluga Oblasts, and Perm Krai in order to accelerate the adoption of new tech solutions. Specifically, the experiment is set to be carried out in the form of regulatory sandboxes, the report notes.
Crypto and blockchain-related activity such as crypto trading or mining is still not regulated in Russia. The State Duma, Russia's parliament, has recently postponed consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets,” while Russian president Vladimir Putin previously set a new deadline for the government to adopt regulations for the industry by July 1, 2019.
Meanwhile, earlier this week, an adviser to the president of Russia proposed adopting a digital currency in Crimea to attract investors and avoid sanctions. On April 9, Russian polling institution VTsIOM published a survey claiming that only 2% of Russians invested in bitcoin (BTC) to date.