ST. PETERSBURG, July 2 (RIA Novosti) – Crypto-currencies may meet legislative regulation in Russia, the First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said Wednesday.
“We are conducting joint activities with the government to examine the issue of crypto-currencies; so far it is under discussion. Probably, in some time we will make a decision to impose legislative regulation on this issue, but now we are analyzing the situation, examining and not impeding bitcoin,” Georgy Luntovsky said.
The deputy chairman stressed, however, that it would be wrong to totally reject these currencies.
“Apparently, they are the thing of the future, but it so happens [in Russia] that everything that is brand new is immediately used for criminal purposes,” the CBR deputy chairman said.
“We favor a diligent approach to this issue. We think that we need first to see how these [currencies] will develop,” Luntovsky elaborated.
The CBR warned Russian citizens and legal entities against using digital currencies back in January, saying that operations involving the currencies are potentially speculative and questionable, as they can be used for money laundering and terrorism funding purposes.
Soon after, the CBR and Prosecutor General’s Office mapped out joint measures aimed at preventing fraud and violations of property rights related to crypto-currencies.
Bitcoin is one of the most successful and, apparently, controversial digital currencies. It is used in many countries as an alternative to official currencies, including the dollar and euro.
Unlike traditional currencies, which are backed by a central bank or commodity, Bitcoin has no central authority and is not tied to any government, but is “regulated” by users of the currency system.