Bank of Russia mulls upon Bitcoin as possible currency despite preliminary rejection

Thursday 3 July 2014 01:07 CET | News

The Russian Bank has recently been compiling data about Bitcoin and other digital currencies for possible regulation, according to intelligence from the Wall Street Journal, reports.

The move comes contrary to the earlier statements coming from regulators that the likes of Bitcoin pose threats to the national economy.

Bank of Russia`s official, deputy chairman Georgy Luntovsky, argues that despite the fact that Bitcoin is being used for illegal activities as the purchase of drugs and fire weapons, it should not be banned.

In February 2014, The Russian central bank issued a warning claiming that digital currencies are considered illegal and a further ban was mulled upon.

Bitcoin has recently been endorsed by some executives in the Russian financial sector, including German Gref, the man who ran the position of government minister from 2000 to 2007. Gref currently heads Sberbank, the third-largest bank in Europe, owned by the Bank of Russia.

In March 2014, Russian authorities stated that the initial warning was not to ban Bitcoin but to form a retaliatory move against criminal activities that could benefit from an anonymous payments system.

Bitcoin’s use in money laundering and other financial crimes is to be the subject of a forthcoming report from the Financial Action Task Force, an intergovernmental body set up to combat money laundering and terrorist financing of which Russia supports.

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Keywords: Bank of Russia, online payments, digital currency, crypto-currency, Bitcoin, online sales, regulators
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
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