Herman Gref, the head of Russia’s largest bank and a prominent blockchain and cryptocurrency advocate, does not see cryptocurrency overtaking fiat as a global currency any time soon.
Herman Gref, the CEO of Sberbank, was speaking to reporters outside of the Astana Finance Days financial conference in Kazakhstan when he was asked to elaborate his views on cryptocurrencies. He explained to Russian news agency TASS that he doesn’t see cryptocurrencies being used as an alternative to fiat money due to the centralized nature of governmental organizations.
"Do I see a prospect of global use of cryptocurrencies as an alternative to fiat money? I don’t see it and I said it many times. I don’t think that the state is ready to yield its centralized role in emission of fiat currency to some other decentralized institutions," Gref said.
His remark is well measured in that countries and central banks have been ardently opposed to adopting cryptocurrencies in lieu of fiat currency, with a few exceptions. That being said, countries including Japan have already legalized Bitcoin as a method of payment.
Gref has made clear his position on opposing any bans Russia places on cryptocurrencies, and has notably revealed that he is a “Bitcoiner” who actively engages in crypto trading as an investment. Gref recently urged authorities in the Russian government to take actions favoring the regulation and legalization of cryptocurrency.
Gref’s positivity towards cryptocurrency has effected actions taken by Sberbank. They were notably the first Russian bank to join the Hyperledger blockchain consortium in 2016. The bank then joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) in 2017. Sberbank has also run multiple money transfer pilots on IBM’s blockchain and is in the process of testing the issuance of tokens in the form of an ICO.