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Five Russian cryptocurrency influencers you should follow
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Here, we take a look at five Russians who are transforming the way people buy, sell, and invest in crypto around the world

It’s not easy working with cryptocurrency in a country like Russia. Laws on the regulation of cryptocurrency in Russia do not yet exist, so the development and spread of the asset class in the country has been restricted.

The pressure on cryptocurrency in Russia began in 2014, when the first restrictive crypto law appeared saying that such a financial instrument was undesirable.

However, there are a number of smart, talented Russians working within the space who continue to promote, develop, and improve the crypto industry.

Here, we take a look at five Russians who are transforming the way people buy, sell, and invest in crypto around the world.

Vitalik Buterin – software engineer and creator of Ethereum

Vitalik Buterin is arguably one of the most influential people in the cryptocurrency space. He started his crypto journey as co-founder and former editor of Bitcoin Magazine. Having studied the technology of Bitcoin more deeply, he decided to develop his own cryptocurrency. Buterin wrote the Ethereum white paper in 2013 and won the World Technology Award for the project in 2014, beating Mark Zuckerberg and other applicants.

In 2017, Vitalik Buterin ranked in the top 10 of the “40 most influential young people under 40 years old” according to Fortune magazine, and also ranked among the most successful entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in Forbes magazine.

Ethereum is currently the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation, second only to Bitcoin.
The cryptocurrency’s swift rise saw the Ethereum Foundation move into first place among companies in the blockchain industry in terms of capital, leaving behind 21 Inc, the R3 consortium, Coinbase, Digital Asset Holdings, and Blockstream. The company’s assets currently exceed $551 million. It is not known exactly how much cryptocurrency is in Buterin’s personal reserve, but he potentially has more than $400 million worth of ETH.

Buterin has previously been quoted as saying: “In the future, when the blockchain will be used everywhere, the role of the state will change – as well as other intermediaries. They, most likely, will form the rules of the game, but there will be a program code that will monitor the implementation of the rules. And human intervention, such as an official, will be minimised.

“Small businesses have even more opportunities to use blockchain than large ones. The smarter the technology, the more it reduces barriers so that people trust each other, can build a business together, organise contacts, and exchange information.”

Twitter: @VitalikButerin

Pavel Durov – CEO of Telegram

Pavel Durov is a Russian businessman, programmer, and billionaire. He is the founder of the social network VKontakte (VK) and the cross-platform messenger Telegram, as well as other projects.

In 2014, after his acrimonious split with VK, he left Russia saying he had “no plans to go back” and that “the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment”.

Durov moved to Saint Kitts and Nevis and began work on his new business venture – Telegram. Telegram is an encrypted, cloud-based messaging service that has built an extensive user base on the promise of complete privacy.

More recently, Durov and his team have been looking to expand Telegram with the development of the Telegram Open Network (TON).

TON is currently being tested to find out how fast it can process payments and to study the properties and readiness of the network. Preliminary results have reportedly shown that TON provides “extremely high speed” transactions.

Twitter: @durov

Valery Vavilov – programmer and CEO of BitFury

Valery Vavilov was born in Latvia, where he worked as a programmer at ZZ Dats, and then as a technical consultant at Since 2008, he has led numerous large Ukrainian internet projects. In 2011, Vavilov and a group of partners founded BitFury, and he currently holds the post of CEO. The company manufactures software and equipment for mining, has several of its own data centers, and provides blockchain security services.

Vavilov has previously spoken at conferences arguing that Bitcoin should not be perceived as an alternative payment system.

He said: “The possibilities of digital currency are much greater. It provides an important function — enhancing the security of information exchange. The more understanding there is, the more people will correctly use this technology. Bitcoin can be compared with copper – you can buy and sell it, and you can make something useful from it. Cryptocurrency can be speculated, and it can be used to create platforms for moving and digitising assets.

“The blockchain will abolish certain professions – for example, notaries and representatives of other professions who are engaged in the registration of rights or the verification of finances. And these systems will work for people more efficiently and transparently. But there will be new specialists – perhaps blockchain lawyers, blockchain auditors, and blockchain notaries.”

Twitter: @valeryvavilov

Alexander Ivanov – founder of the Waves Platform

As the founder of the Waves Platform, Alexander Ivanov is actively involved in the development of the blockchain industry. At the moment, he and his team are working on developing a platform for legal IEO launches in Russia. It is known that 15% of all WAVES tokens belong to the project, and according to various data, 1-2% personally belongs to Alexander, which is around $8-16 million at the current market price.

Ivanov has said: “We need to understand that here, in the crypto industry, there are no rules – you invent your own rules, which is very cool. It’s just the Wild West, but the Wild West in a good way. You come up with your own rules, you suggest them to people, and people agree. This is freedom in the best sense of the word.”

Twitter: @sasha35625

Vladimir Putin – President of the Russian Federation

Putin’s position on cryptocurrency and blockchain is very positive. He recently said: “New technologies have emerged in the world. And the one who is late in this competition will fall into complete dependence on the leaders of this process. Russia can in no case allow this. We need to use cryptocurrency, blockchain, and new technology today in order to ensure this breakthrough and a breakthrough into the future.”

Previously, Putin saw Bitcoin as a potential threat. To eliminate any risks, he ordered the Central Bank of Russia and the government to develop and amend the legislation on cryptocurrency. All this will take place under the jurisdiction of the Digital Economy of the Russian Federation program.

Putin’s positive words have made the country’s representatives and financial industry take notice of cryptocurrency and blockchain. Government officials are building a well thought out legal framework for the technology in order to start fully exploring the potential of the space. It’s safe to say that Putin will have a great say on the development and growth of the cryptocurrency space in Russia.

Twitter: @KremlinRussia_E

by Elena Davies

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