Bank of Russia: We Should Not Reject Bitcoin
A few months have passed after Bank of Russia warned about potential treatment under the law, the regulators have now released new statements suggesting the country to soften the tone on digital-currencies.
The central bank of Russia is now in the process of collecting information about all digital currencies. Georgy Luntovsky, the deputy of Bank of Russia, told that even there was evidence of Bitcoin being used to purchase weapons and drugs in Russia, the central bank will not take harsh measures against Bitcoin usage.
Earlier this year on February, the Russian central bank affirmed that the use of digital-currencies and other “money substitutes” is illegal in the country, which caused a widespread fear around the world that Russia is going to ban Bitcoin. Moreover, Russia is not the only jurisdiction with legislation like this. Until recently, the state of California had a similar law but it was not applied to ban all alternatives to USD.
Georgy Luntovsky also hinted that Bank of Russia is taking a “wait-and-see” approach to digital-currency regulation which may be influential to the other jurisdictions as well.
Bitcoin has notably been approved by a number of important executives in the financial sector in Russia, including German Gref who was a government minister (2000-2007). He is currently the head manager of Sberbank which is the Europe’s third largest bank. In his opinion it would be a “colossal mistake” to ban Bitcoin without any studies and regulations.
Money laundering concerns still remain
Russian authorities told they were open for a discussion about digital-currencies earlier this year. They also added that the aim of the initial warning was part of an effort to fight criminal activities that may benefit from cyber-currencies and they had no intention to ban Bitcoin.
Financial Action Task Force is going to release the report subjected in Bitcoin’s use for money laundering and the other financial crimes. FATF is an intergovernmental body which combats money laundering and Russian supported terrorist financing.