Bitcoin Backed by Sberbank’s Gref as Russia Plans Curbs

sberbank24 Jan 2014 / Bloomberg – Advocates of Bitcoin gained support from OAO Sberbank (SBER) chief Herman Gref, who’s urging the Kremlin to stop Russian lawmakers from curbing the use of virtual currencies in a bill designed to cut funding for terrorists.

“It’s a very interesting global experiment that breaks the paradigm of currency issuance,” Gref said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A ban would be a “colossal step backward,” said Gref, who was economy minister during President Vladimir Putin’s first two terms.

Gref, who’s run state-run Sberbank, eastern Europe’s largest lender, since 2007, said he’d sent letters to the Kremlin, central bank and Finance Ministry asking officials to intervene with parliament to avert possible restrictions. That runs counter to the views of many of his western counterparts, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, who told CNBC in Davos that governments will eventually get “really upset” with Bitcoin and force it to become just a payment system regulated like all others.

Speculators, Fees

Bitcoin was introduced in 2008 by a programmer, or group of programmers, known as Satoshi Nakamoto. There are 21 million possible Bitcoins that can be mined by a peer-to-peer network harnessing computers to complete complicated mathematical calculations. About 12.2 million units are currently in circulation, according to….. Read more


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