ICOs Have “Huge Potential” for Investments: Russian Central Bank Official



A senior official from Russia’s central bank has pledged support for initial coin offerings, or ICOs, after underlining its “tremendous potential” for financing entrepreneurs and startups.

Sergey Shvetsov, the first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, has said the central bank will “support the development” of ICO fundraising in Russia. According to Russian state news agency TASS, Shvetsov highlighted the “huge investment potential” brought on by ICOs, wherein startups or companies raise finances in cryptocurrencies in exchange for their own cryptographic tokens.

Shvetsov stated:

Our country has a tremendous potential of innovations, our students, young people and entrepreneurs have the edge over any country in the world from the viewpoint of ideas and amid the lack of classical institutions of startups support, ICO development has a huge potential to finance those ideas.

The central banker’s remarks are particularly notable as they come within months of an official notice by Russia’s central bank warning the public of “risks” in adopting or investing in cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

In a shifting of stance since that statement, official Kremlin documents published in October revealed Russian president Vladimir Putin’s personal approval for a framework to regulate ICOs and cryptocurrency mining operations in the country.

While Shvetsov didn’t outline a framework to support ICOs in Russia, he added:

Hopefully, ICO will take a rightful place in Russia’s financial market.

In September, before the turnabout, Shvetsov vehemently stated that Russia would block access to bitcoin exchange websites after citing “unreasonably high risks” posed by bitcoin price volatility toward everyday retail investors.