‘Foreign’ Bitcoin and Ethereum Need Homegrown Version: Russian Minister

Russia should create its own alternative to Bitcoin and Ethereum because they are “developed on foreign cryptography,” a senior politician has said.

Speaking to journalists Monday, communications minister Nikolay Nikiforov said that the country, which last week signed a partnership with the Ethereum Foundation, is “absolutely capable” of developing its own alternative.

“Bitcoin and Ethereum are cryptocurrencies developed on the basis of foreign cryptography. Russia has its own cryptography school,” he commented quoted by Sputnik News.

“I think that we are absolutely capable of creating a cryptographic unit, a tool, based on the Blockchain technology, and work out concrete regulations to set the framework for the operations.”

Nikiforov adds to the increasingly confusing Russian governmental stance of cryptocurrency, which is facing a mixture of support and ban threats from bureaucrats.

Deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev announced in a TV interview last week that cryptocurrencies should only be available to “authorized investors” via the Moscow Stock Exchange and not to “ordinary people.” He added that it was “hard to argue against” cryptocurrency being a “pyramid scheme.”

At the same time, a work group is due to recommend a ban on private persons undertaking Bitcoin mining at home due to what a spokesman described as safety concerns.

Meanwhile, a concerted state-sponsored effort to take mining prowess away from China is underway, with plans to raise up to $100 mln in support.

Nikiforov added that suggested regulations for cryptocurrency would be “filed to the government” as they were already prepared.