The position of the financial authority towards bitcoin has been reaffirmed today at a round table “Regulating the issue and turnover of cryptocurrency” in the State Duma of the Russian Federation.

According to Interfax, the declaration was made by Andrey Shamraev, Deputy President of the Department of Settlement Clearing of the Central Bank:

“We are all in favour of the technology but we are against surrogates. Cryptocurrency is a surrogate that would bring in a number of serious consequences if legalised. At the same time, the blockchain technology that can be used for a great many useful purposes and transform the banking system and financial market – that is the direction to take.”

Shamraev believes that the use of bitcoin in the country could only be considered if Russia did not have its own e-payment services. But as they exist, the government should support them instead.

Andrey Lugovoy, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma on Security and Anti-Corruption, said that legal framework for cryptocurrency regulation is being prepared. According to him, there are two opposite tendencies in Russia, one calling for a complete ban of cryptocurrency and another proposing its regulation. He believes that, as technologies are growing and financial instruments becoming more complicated, the second point of view will prevail. Lugovoi does not rule out the possibility of the Central Bank legalising some operations with bitcoins.

Speaking at the round table, Dmitry Buyanov, Deputy Head of the Operational Investigation Department of the Federal Drug Control Service of the Russian Federation, announced that over the last two years Russian drug dealers have twenty times increased bitcoin usage. He believes that this menace “will flow out to our streets in a few years” and the only way to fight it is to put the end to the anonymity of bitcoin.

Alexei Tereschenko