BLOCKCHAIN, Interviews

Russia may face digital slavery

Russia‘s authorities have taken a wait-and-see approach as regards cryptocurrency. However, as they are closely following worldwide trends, other countries have taken the lead in the global economic race. Risks for the government and citizens are great, but there are a lot more imaginary fears of the cryptocurrency anonymity. Invest Foresight has spoken about this with president of Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB) Yury Pripachkin.

Credit: Kirill Kallinikov | RIAN

– You participated in two sessions at the Gaidar Forum which were focused on cryptocurrencies. What are your impressions?

– The impressions are sad as the main issues were not addressed. Even more, the attempts to consider the subject of cryptocurrencies separately from other digital matters are pointless. The discussion came down to pointing out that there are some new assets that have to be adapted to the analogue economy. However, the discussion should be focused on the new digital economy which is centered not only around man but around Internet users with gadgets, and which concerns the relations between people’s digital profiles and service platforms. Actually, this is what blockchain, cryptocurrency and smart-contracts are all about.

– Is the Keynesian model inapplicable to the digital economy?  

– We see it through the example of the global economy: the amount of derivatives and issued dollars is in no way related to production relations and the production model. Even more, emission is ceasing to affect the market, so everything is advancing towards a new economic model. The economic theory does not say anything about it yet, with discussions on new digital substance underway.

We are witnessing the birth of a new type of economic relations. The competitive race existing between the countries will be won by the power that will provide the most preferential terms for introducing the new economic approach. In this regards, Russia is lagging behind, sadly. Even more, in case our citizens’ digital profiles are used on service platforms registered under other jurisdictions, we will actually find ourselves in a new form of slavery – a digital slavery. Citizens create their digital profiles on their own by voluntary revealing the information about themselves, their habits and families on social networking sites and on online shops and television companies’ platforms. And the most scary thing here is that this information does not belong to them. As soon as you begin to receive targeted advertising, this means your profile has been already resold. This is a very serious situation.

Are these the main risks of the new digital economy?

– The main risk is that we may never get a chance to become leaders in the digital race. The draft laws to be considered soon by the State Duma are unacceptable for the industry. If they are adopted, the business will migrate to other jurisdiction, and this will lead to another outflow of technologies, brains and capital from Russia. There is no idea more ridiculous than restraining people from purchasing digital assets as this cannot be tracked – and who will do this? Secondly, it is very easy to circumvent restrictions by using technology; and thirdly, this all will lead to people investing in non-Russian tokens.

By Anna Oreshkina

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