Russia to Regulate Cryptocurrency Market

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Russia is preparing a law to regulate cryptocurrencies like securities, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said late last week.

Siluanov said that it does not make any sense to ban the digital currency and his ministry is crafting rules and regulations for related to buying of cryptocurrencies, according to a report in Reuters.

The minister said that the purchase of cryptocurrencies should be similar to that of securities such as treasury bonds for households. He noted that the law would also include registration of investors wanting to buy the virtual money.

“The state understands indeed that cryptocurrencies are real. There is no sense in banning them, there is a need to regulate them,” Siluanov said.

Siluanov said that the ministry would be able to finish working on the law by the end of this year. However, he did not provide any details about virtual currencies that would be subject to the new regulations.

Investment in Cryptocurrencies is Risky

During a financial forum in central Moscow, Siluanov warned that the investment in cryptocurrencies is a volatile, risky, and insecure and investors should be aware of risks related to digital currencies.

Earlier this month, the Central Bank of the Russian issued a statement highlighting the risks associated with Bitcoin and initial coin offerings (ICOs). The bank was prompted to issue the statement as more and more Russians are taking an interest in ICOs, according to a report in CoinDesk.

The regulator believes that cryptocurrencies could be used for “illegal activities, which include money laundering and financing of terrorism.”

“Given the high risks of circulation and use of cryptocurrency, the Bank of Russia considers it premature to admit cryptocurrencies, as well as any financial instruments nominated or associated with cryptocurrencies, to circulation and use at organized trades and in clearing and settlement infrastructure on the territory of the Russian Federation for servicing transactions with cryptocurrencies and derivative financial instruments on them,” the bank said in the statement, quoted by CoinDesk.

In related news, Russian Miner Coin, a company co-owned by an aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, is seeking to raise $100 million in an initial coin offering, offering buyers a right to 18% of the company’s mining revenue, according to a report in Bloomberg.

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