The Governor of the Russian Central Bank called cryptocurrencies "crypto thing" and stressed that these assets can not be considered as money or reliable store of value.

Elvira Nabiullina, head of the Russian Central Bank, said that the regulator was concerned about the legal status of cryptocurrencies as the purposes of their use are often opaque.

Cryptocurrencies are not money or property, Nabiullina said in an interview with Russia24 TV channel, speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

"I would not call them currencies, but rather "crypto thing". The whole world is trying to understand what it is. Almost noone consider them as fiat currencies or a kind of a fiat currency. There are disputes, whether it's an asset, whether it's property, or even rights. This phenomenon is not fully understood yet."

She recalled the main risks associated with cryptocurrencies, which are high volatility and possible use of cryptocurrencies for terrorism financing and money laundering.

"This is a highly speculative volatile asset. Those people who bought bitcoin for $20,000, imagine how much they will lose now if there is a need to sell. This is not a store of value, it is not a reliable way of investing. Secondly, it's not a secret that cryptocurrencies are used for laundering, illegal operations due to their anonymity, and, of course, this can not but bother us," Nabiullina said.

At the same time, Nabiullina, like many of her colleagues among financiers of the traditional banking sector, highly appreciated the prospects of the blockchain technology.

She reminded that the Russian Central Bank in cooperation with the FinTech association, largest Russian banks and Qiwi payment system develops the MasterChain project, which is designed to create banking solutions based on the decentralized registry technology.