New Head of Russian Blockchain Community Reveals its Plans

June 6, the position of’s board chairman, previously occupied by Alex Fork, was taken by Artem Tolkachev, the managing partner at law firm Tolkachev & Partners and expert in legal regulation of cryptotechnologies.

ForkLog talked with the newly elected chairman to find out more about the organization’s plans and objectives.

FL:  What do you plan to do in the first place as a chairman of How are you going to develop the community?

Artem Tolkachev: Generally, I see my purpose in consolidating the industry’s opinions and representing its interests as to the issues of regulation in general, and its basic applications in particular.

Presently, the government is in the middle of determining its opinion on the industry’s regulation, so the industry’s task here is to offer the most appropriate kind of regulation and highlight the technology’s advantages.

As for the most immediate activities, I am going to meet with the community players, and organize a common meeting to share opinions. Additionally, I’m planning active work with development institutions, legislators, and the regulator.

It’s crucial to understand that the community is totally open for new members, to new initiatives and to a reasonable discussion on various issues. We’ve got both technical and judicial expertise, so our task is to prepare and release adequate applications of the technology so that the community and the industry could develop further.

Artem Tolkachev

Artem Tolkachev

FL: How exactly do you see regulation of the technology?

Artem Tolkachev: My position as to regulation is that we need to determine the legal status of such tools to maintain normal business operations involving bitcoin and blockchain. Without it, businesses won’t be able to use them properly, and they will never see mass adoption. I think that the right approach is when the nation state allows businesses to test the technology’s opportunities without any total prohibitions, analyzes consequences, collects opinions across the industry, and then introduces a regulatory framework.

FL: Did you attend the recent roundtable on blockchain and cryptocurrency at the State Duma? Generally, what’s your opinion on the meeting?

Artem Tolkachev: I didn’t attend it for internal reasons. Generally, I can see that negative and prohibitive stance towards cryptocurrencies and cryptotechnologies is gradually changing for more positive and constructive. So, generally, I’m positive about the meeting.

FL: How do you plan to interact with official institutions? Are you preparing any documents, meetings, roundtables, etc.?

Artem Tolkachev: Soon we are going to release the community’s charter incorporating the main objectives, settling the management procedures, and considering other important issues. As for roundtables, yes, we’re planning to hold them.

FL: A few days ago Andrei Lugovoy of the parliament’s committee on security and anti-corruption stated that blockchain technology may allow Russia to bypass sanctions. What do you think about it?

Artem Tolkachev: As far as I can understand, his main idea is that public blockchain, in a classic sense of word, cannot be controlled by a single entity, so its usage will be free and borderless anyway. Probably, it’s yet another continuation of discussions on Russia’s possible disconnection from SWIFT, as well as on bank card acquiring in international payments systems in case of new sanctions. If Lugovoy’s idea is in establishing reasonable regulation for blockchain, and thus providing some advantages to Russian companies and jurisdiction as a whole, I’m definitely supportive about it.

FL: Do you expect the bitcoin banning bill to be passed this summer, or they will postpone it again?

Artem Tolkachev: Hopefully, they’ll postpone it. Lawmakers got interested in the issue. I hope they’ll try to see into the matter instead of stamping a pretty weird and useless initiative.

by Tanya Otter


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