QIWI: BitRuble Is Not Subject to Cryptocurrency Ban
March 10, Russian ministry of finance proposed to introduce up to seven years of imprisonment as a punishment for issuance and usage of money surrogates, including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. ForkLog most certainly recalled QIWI’s project BitRuble, which at first thought is definitely subject to the law in question.
However, Alexei Arkhipov, QIWI’s director of cryptotechnology development, BitRuble’s team does not expect any imprisonment, as they do not consider their brainchild a cryptocurrency.
“We think our project isn’t subject to the initiative. Even here we call it cryptomoney or e-cash to avoid confusion. They are different from the general concept of cryptocurrency, as well as from what, in our opinion, the ministry of finance offers to fight against,” Arkhipov said.
He stated QIWI intends to release BitRuble by the end of the year, yet some issues are still pending. For instance, earlier it was announced that BitRuble would be pegged to ruble, which effectively makes the ‘cryptomoney’ a form of internet cash. Arkhipov says the question is being discussed now.
Security issues are not solved yet, too. As BitRuble is intended for operation in the legal field of Russia, any threats related to fraudulent activities and dishonest players shall be legally terminated.
Notably, Russian authorities claimed on numerous occasions that cryptocurrencies may be used for money laundering and terrorism funding. However, this problem is soluble with crypto-market regulation, Arkhipov believes.
“When cryptomoney enter the legal realm, the security level will rise automatically. We fully comply with Russian laws and imply user identification in order to work with BitRuble,” he noted.
Last September, payment processor QIWI stated it was planning to issue a blockchain-based virtual currency of its own. A month later, chairwoman of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina expressed her favor for the initiative of BitRuble development and research of cryptotechnologies. However, Russian financial ombudsman Pavel Medvedev condemned the idea as it, to his reckoning, contradicts the prevailing legislation. Back then, he dubbed it “technical hooliganism”.
Notwithstanding the latest news concerning the possible ban and criminalization of cryptocurrencies in Russia, QIWI still hopes to launch BitRuble successfully.
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