The authorities in Russia have warned against use of Bitcoin, terming that this virtual currency was likely to be used for terrorism financing and money laundering. They further said that treating it as an equivalent currency was illegal. The Prosecutor General’s Office has stated on 6th February:
“Systems for anonymous payments and cyber currencies that have gained considerable circulation – including the most well-known, Bitcoin – are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals or legal entities.”
It further said that according to Russian law the single official currency in Russia was rouble and the running of any other currency substitutes and monetary units was illegal.
The Central Bank of Russia had also termed Bitcoin as a highly speculative currency and termed it a big risk for losing money. It had warned:
“Citizens and legal entities risk being drawn – even unintentionally – into illegal activity, including laundering of money obtained through crime, as well as financing terrorism.”
The Office of the Prosecutor General has also said that it is also working with Russian Central Bank and other agencies related to law enforcement for more strict regulations so that legal offences with the use of virtual currencies may be prevented.