The Investigative Committee of Russian Federation (ICRF) believes that cryptocurrency could bring down the financial market in Russia. The officials vow in favour of criminal liability for its issuance and use.

According to the representative of the ICFR Georgy Smirnov, cryptocurrencies, or as they call them “surrogate money”, have the potential to compete with the national currency. The conflict can result in a reduction of ruble liquidity and gradual replacement of fiat money with cryptographic ones. Smirnov voiced out his belief that as surrogates are not insured and backed by the credit of the government they should be regarded as a speculative instrument.

“Because this instrument is speculative, then our entire financial system can turn into a big bubble. Such instruments put the market at risk of collapse.”

It is necessary to prohibit cryptocurrency use as a payment method in order to “maintain financial stability” of the national market, believes Smirnov.

“And of course, it is necessary to adopt criminal liability, taking into account the public danger of the consequences that may occur because of their use,” said the investigating authority representative.

On 25 February, the State Duma held a roundtable discussion “Regulating the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrency.” Russian Central Bank and Security and Anti-Corruption representatives voted against legalisation of cryptocurrencies in Russia. During his speech in the Duma, Andrei Lugovoy, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma on Security and Anti-Corruption, told that Russia was the world's fifth country by the number of bitcoin users (200,000) after the US, China and Germany.  

Elena Platonova