Russian Investigative Committee’s Head Says Cryptocurrencies Are Threatening Country’s Financial Stability

News and Analysis

In a major article on ‘hybrid war’ which he believes the US wages against Russia, Alexander Bastrykin, head of Russian Investigative Committee, claimed that cryptocurrencies may supersede real money from the market. 

Bastrykin writes the war on Russia has been continuing for ten years. According to him, it involves political, economic, informational and legal areas. The official also notes that the alleged war has shifted gears and now features “open hostilities”.

Speaking about possible Russia’s response to the “hostilities”, Bastrykin took heed to reiterate good old provisions on using cryptocurrencies for financing terrorism. He noted that, apart from ideological component of the war against Russia, financial substrate for such undermining activities shall also be considered.

In his opinion, it involves imposing stricter controls over the cross-border moving of funds.

“As experience has shown, terrorism is often financed with virtual currencies, which lack centralized issuers and a unified center for transactions control, and feature anonymity of payments. Additionally, in case such currencies receive wide advertisement, they may supersede legal money, which threatens nation-state’s financial stability. Considering that, we offer to introduce criminal responsibility for illegal issuance and turnover of cryptocurrencies along with other money surrogates,” Bastrykin wrote.

The draft law prepared by Russian Ministry of Finance and actively supported by the Investigative Committee provides criminal responsibility for issuance and turnover of cryptocurrencies. It is expected to be reviewed by the country’s parliament this June at the latest.

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