Forbes has created a list of 15 Russian entrepreneurs who make their country look like a country that introduces innovation and contribute to a positive image of Russia for the rest of the world. Part of them are busy working in the cryptocurrency industry or close to it.
TON Blockchain network creator
On top of the list is Pavel Durov, the software engineer who founded the encrypted Telegram messaging app and then launched an ICO last year. The plan goes as far as to create a global decentralized platform, TON (Telegram Open Network), with the GRAM token as a fuel to power transactions on it.
Before leaving Russia for good, Pavel Durov and his brother created the most popular Russian social network, VK.com, which they were forced to sell later to the Russian government-protected businessmen who own the Mail.ru holding, ICQ messaging app and Russia’s other major social media.
Last year, the Russian government went out of its way to block Telegram in the country, but failed to do that. Thus, targeting TON and Telegram at countries with oppressive regimes, Durov for many has become a kind of a symbol of ‘digital resistance’ and libertarianism, which Bitcoin and most other crypto also stand for.
Eugene Kaspersky – McAfee antivirus competitor
The founder of Kaspersky Labs is well-known in the global market of antivirus software. The company’s products are good enough to compete with such brands as McAfee’s antivirus (currently owned by Intel).
Forbes seems to have put this entrepreneur on the list by mistake since Kaspersky has not been in favour out in the West recently. Two years ago, US authorities accused Kaspersky Labs of working for the Russian intelligence service. In summer 2017, Trump’s administration banned the use of Kaspersky Labs products for US state agencies.
The Russian IT giant still attempts to restore their reputation in international courts, but that does not seem to be fruitful yet.
Other people on the list
Among other entrepreneurs on the Forbes list is Oleg Tinkov, the founder of Tinkoff Bank, a major bank in Russia. The entrepreneur works in other spheres of business as well, and at one point he was eager to launch his own crypto, TinCoin, but then postponed it until Russia adopts an operational regulatory system for blockchain and digital assets.