Ministers within the government of Russia want to make ICOs and cryptocurrencies illegal, according to Coin Rivet sources.
As the Kremlin recently announced, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs said it was looking at making unauthorised cryptocurrency ventures a criminal activity as a way of curbing financial crime. But some factions in Moscow are keen to take the move even further.
After making huge strides towards becoming a crypto-friendly nation, some government officials are urging their colleagues to stand against the recent warmth towards crypto and haul back its progress in favour of a fiat-only financial system.
“It’s as if the authorities inside the Kremlin have just become very nervous about cryptocurrency – there are some government ministers and officials who think Russia is being led too quickly down a path no one has trod before,” our sources told us.
“It’s very frustrating for those who have been striving very hard to give Russia a head start and position itself as a world leader in cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
“We have fantastic talent, resources and technology here but some of the traditionalists are out to grab the advance of crypto by the collar and pull it back to the start line.”
Earlier this year, Vladimir Putin displayed a surprising amount of knowledge about the subject during his regular address to the nation where he was asked about the country’s stance on cryptocurrency.
Alluding to a raft of regulations being drawn up by the Kremlin, he then went on to say that Russia’s Central Bank would not embrace any digital offering that is not backed by a fiat currency.
“In the overwhelming majority of countries cryptocurrency is not a means of account,” he said.
“It is partially used in Japan, but in other countries it doesn’t work. That means that we have to treat this very accurately and carefully.
“Nevertheless, such phenomenon has its place in the world, it is developing! We have to carefully analyse, watch what’s going on, and see at what stage and how we can participate in this process and use it, including by the way, to avoid any restrictions in the sphere of international financial activity.”
But, according to Coin Rivet’s source, Putin isn’t in a majority when it comes to supporting cryptocurrency.
“If he does at all,” we were informed.
“President Putin and his senior advisors have all dealt in nothing but hard cash throughout their careers and they have done so with the advice of the Central Bank – an institution that is unlikely to entertain cryptocurrency in Putin’s lifetime – ringing in their ears.
“Even the wealthiest of oligarchs who have made their money from oil and manufacturing won’t go near crypto while Putin and the Central Bank are watching over them – but it won’t be long before a new wave of super rich Russians will come about from cryptocurrency. They’ll just have to do it without the support of a government which is becoming increasingly wary of something it cannot control without strict regulation.”
And that regulation is just around the corner. Coupled with new directives, the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs is currently moving towards making unauthorised ICOs a criminal entity.
It is understood officials are minded to legalise open-source currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, allowing industry to deal in digital assets but will remain sceptical of less popular cryptocurrencies or ICOs which they believe should be criminally liable.
However, many believe that Russian interior ministers can’t enforce criminal charges or make unregistered ICOs illegal without formal, government-led, regulations.
“And there,” warns our source, “lies the missing piece of the jigsaw – the group of ministers urging Russia to turn its back on modern advancement can use this regulation to their advantage.
“All they need is the widespread support of their ministerial colleagues and Russia’s position in the world in terms of financial technology will be dragged back to the dark ages!”