Boris Titov, a Russian businessman/ombudsman, and bitcoin advocate, has proposed the creation of a region in the Crimea similar to the “kriptodoliny” (Cryptovalley) in Zug, Switzerland for funding cryptocurrency and blockchain organizations, according to Rambler News Service. Titov said this during the All-Russian scientific-practical forum “Blokcheyn: dialogue between business and the authorities.”
“Maybe we can make a Crypto Valley Crimea,” Titov said.
Switzerland’s “Crypto-Valley” based in Zug is home to a number of bitcoin and blockchain startups supported by the Crypto Valley Association. The association supports industry startups through policy recommendations, organizing conferences and hackathons, enabling researching programs and more.
A Region Embroiled
Titov has proposed such a project in the Crimea, a region that has been the center of a conflict between Russia and the Ukraine that has drawn sanctions by numerous countries, including the United States.
In March 2014, Russian special forces backed by pro-Russian separatists invaded major Ukrainian government buildings, military bases and telecommunication facilities of the peninsula and forced local authorities to hold a referendum on “reunification with Russia,” according to Wikipedia. Most of the international community does not recognize the annexation and considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory. Russia presently administers the peninsula while Ukraine continues to assert its right over the peninsula.
Titov said cluster initiatives are another approach. While it is hard to control such a process on a territorial basis, he said geographical boundaries are verifiable via the Internet.
Such a territory could help solve financing problems related to sanctions, Titov said. The possibilities of bitcoin, blockchain and the Internet can bring funding to the Crimea in new ways.
Titov Promotes Cryptocurrencies
Titov, the leader of Russia’s Party of Growth, has called for Russia to legalize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and become a leader in blockchain development.
He has also said Russia can take advantage of its difficult economic situation to embrace blockchain technology as a way to become a very profitable country.
The country should create opportunities for foreign investors to invest in bitcoin by removing restrictions on such investments, he said, and the country can use blockchain to develop its economy.
Russia’s Party of Growth supports a free market economy, democracy and protecting the rights of the middle class, according to Wikipedia. While widely regarded as a pro-Kremlin party, the Party of Growth has found itself in opposition to the presidential administration on several issues.
Titov joins a pro-bitcoin/blockchain cadre facing an uphill battle against some powerful forces in Russia.
The Growth Party and Waves, a cryptocurrency platform for asset and custom token issuance, transfer and trading, launched a new platform in March called “People of Growth,” a social project based on Waves. The internal cryptocurrency — Upcoin — is employed for payments between users of the system.
Image from Shutterstock and Kremlin.