Russia may ban Bitcoin by next spring
RT, an English-language news outlet in Russia, reports that a top official with the Russian government has announced that a law will be passed banning Bitcoin’s exchange into real money by next spring because of Bitcoin’s use by criminals and terrorists.
Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev said to journalists in Moscow:
“People can play with their chips, and they can call them money, but they can’t use these surrogate currencies as tender. We will discuss this law in the current session of parliament, and possibly even pass it then, or at the very latest by spring next year. We are currently dealing with comments from the law enforcement agencies, about the specifics of legal measures, and we will take their remarks into account. But the overall concept of the law is set in stone.”
While the draft of the proposed legislation has not been published, officials state they will open criminal proceedings against people who mint digital currency as well as those who use it for transactions. Russia’s financial ministry has also asked regulators to ban access to exchanges and online shops that accept Bitcoin, reports RT.
Lawmakers say Bitcoin’s cross-border nature, transaction anonymity, and lack of supervisory body makes it the perfect means for illegal transactions such as money laundering, purchasing illicit goods, rendering illegal services, or funding terrorism. Since cryptocurrency is not backed by any assets, it is liable to fluctuate considerably, so the ban would serve as a protective measure that would prevent individuals from losing money due to speculation, reports RT.
The news agency says the proposed legislation seems to be largely pre-emptive, as Bitcoin and its iterations are rare in Russia, as least insofar as being a channel for legal transactions. Still, Russia’s central bank had already suggested that Russia be “wary” of using digital currencies as far back as January.
Moiseev said that Russia “was following Europe’s lead” on digital currencies, but RT notes that while many financial bodies in Europe have criticized or dismissed Bitcoin, the virtual currency has not been banned entirely anywhere in Europe.
As RT notes, the only two nations that have explicitly criminalized digital currencies are Bolivia and Ecuador, the latter of which is seeking to create its own cryptocurrency.
Not surprising. People everywhere are becoming aware of just how regulated and manipulated nation-state currencies are, and how the state’s interests are put above and before those of its citizen’s (viz. inflation, devaluations, bank-holiday confiscations and bail-ins, etc). The article above is yet another example of this.
The flight of wealth out of the ‘bad-money’ systems will accelerate even more if nation states continue to escalate their economic wars against each other. (Could the Spring timetable mentioned in the article above indicate that officials believe economic wars will be in full swing that soon?)
Eventually, so much wealth will have departed from corrupt nation state monetary systems and into cryptocurrencies that these alternative monetary systems will reach a ‘critical mass’ where through the network effect they become self sufficient. i.e. that people and businesses will exchange with each other directly in cryptocurrencies without needed to convert to/from ‘cash’.
Nation states outlawing the use of such currencies will only accelerate the exodus.
I love how the state official in the article implied that this new law was partly motivated by the state’s benevolent concern for its citizens; not wanting them to loose money.
As they say: With friends like that who needs enemies.