Ramzan Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, announced that he has bought an undisclosed amount of bitcoin in order to more effectively "monitor the development of the cryptocurrency."
The leader's statement, which appeared on the social media website VKontakte on February 10, pitched the purchase as a bid to "understand the innovations" occurring in the rapidly evolving tech world.
Kadyrov noted in the post, "I have already said that in the Chechen Republic [we] will be implementing blockchain," and voiced particular interest in the technology's ability to support "innovative payment networks."
Chechnya is a federal subject of Russia, which last month unveiled legislation that signaled its intention to regulate the digital asset trade and hinted at plans for a state-issued cryptocurrency, the cryptoruble.
In spite of his apparent enthusiasm for blockchain technology, the Chechen leader also expressed his desire to see cryptocurrency investment and trading regulated in order to protect consumers from fraudulent schemes, which he described as "more developed" in the blockchain space. He is not in favor of an all-out ban on the trade of virtual currency, however.
Earlier in February, in comments posted to the messaging platform Telegram, Kadyrov indicated that his government, in collaboration with the Vnesheconombank, would migrate the land register maintained by the Chechen division of the Federal Service for State Registration, Cadastre and Cartography, better known as the Rosreestr, onto a blockchain.
"I cannot say when it will be done, but the work is underway," he related. According to the leader's remarks on Telegram, Zakriy Yakub Salmanovich, the first deputy chairman of the Chechen government and reportedly a nephew of Kadyrov's, has been tasked with overseeing the project.