For the first time, the cryptocurrency event features a Russian parliamentarian among its speakers: the state is interested in the blockchain.

The Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Russia (the second Moscow hosts this year) took place in the Digital October congress centre in the capital downtown. Despite the heavy weather, many key industry players and crypto experts attended the event on 10 November. At some presentations, our reporter recounts, the conference’s two halls were overcrowded beyond capacity.

The unique feature of the last blockchain conference in Moscow is undoubtedly the presence among the speakers of a representative of Russian State Duma. Elina Sidorenko, head of the parliamentary interagency group on cryptocurrency risk evaluation, summarised the current official position of the state towards decentralised currencies. Sidorenko confirmed, that officials no longer regard them as a threat, instead, admitting their financial potential.

A cryptocurrency lawyer and Deloitte representative in Russia Artem Tolkachev spoke about state regulation of the blockchain. According to him, the country may develop a regulatory framework for the blockchain technology as early as 2017.

Kirill Ivkushkin from Sberbank referred to a certain “blockchain circle” within the bank’s management. He believes that cryptocurrencies will never drive traditional financial organisations out of the market. However, the blockchain may be beneficial for banks in many ways like data record automation and storage.

Stepan Gershuni, Product Director at BitFury, made a presentation about a possible consensus between the public and private blockchain models. He also discussed blockchain implementation practices at the government level.

Dimitry Starodubtsev, Director of cyber.Fund, presented their recent product – the blockchain-based social network Golos. Starodubtsev invited the guests to join the Golos ICO, to take place early in December.

Chinese bitcoin company BitKan, represented by Darya Petrova, shared their plans to enter the CIS-market. In addition, Petrova gave a detailed overview of bitcoin market and regulation in China.

A number of bitcoin startups displayed their ready-to-use products at the conference. Thus, Bitlish installed a bitcoin ATM in the conference lobby that allowed the guests to buy bitcoins for rubles on the spot. According to the company, the machine will be ready hit the market next year. The founder of Wirex payment processor Roman Potemkin presented bitcoin debit card that allowing, for example, to purchase Starbucks coffee for bitcoins.

The Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Russia ended with a closing party at Joys Bar.

Lyudmila Brus, Roman Korizky