Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to be looking at legalizing and regulating crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin. Just last year Russia was considering criminal penalties for those who use these currencies, but this hostile attitude towards the alternative currencies seems to be changing. Why?
One reason would be the desire to introduce an alternative world reserve currency which is not dominated by any one country. Reserve currencies are held by governments for use in international trade and to prop up their currency values while buffering volatility. The “home” countries of reserve currencies benefit from lower borrowing costs (the estimate benefit for the U.S. is $100 billion per year).