The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is currently calling for stricter cryptocurrency regulations, as he shared his beliefs about the danger and risks that digital currencies may pose to the world, according to International Business Times.
Putin, during a meeting in Sochi on October 10th, said:
“Cryptocurrencies are issued by an unlimited number of anonymous bodies. Thus buyers of cryptocurrencies could be involved in unlawful activities”, reported Radio Free Europe.
The dangers posed by cryptocurrencies, as presented by Vladimir Putin, range from tax evasion, money laundering and financing of terrorism. This notion that digital currencies cannot be traced and are usually coming from anonymous entities is shared by a series of governments and central banks. Although many believe that the real concern for the regulating bodies is that the technology of blockchain and digital currencies will eliminate the need for banks and financial intermediaries.
The opinion of Vladimir Putin is a drastic shift from what the Russian government has been trying to do in the past few months. Lately, some education reforms had been introduced that would incorporate courses on bitcoin, digital currencies, the blockchain technology itself.
Also, the rumors that Russia is going to create its own cryptocurrency, like Japan is creating the J-Coin, are not over. What is more, in the words of IB Times:
“Several Russian officials, including Putin himself, met with Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin earlier this year and publically endorsed the technology’s potential. According to Bloomberg, Putin tempered his recent warnings with calls for a new “regulatory environment” to control access without creating “too many barriers.”
As many countries stand divided on the merits and risks that cryptocurrencies pose, Russia is no exception to that “rule”. Vladimir Putin seems to be hesitant about the future of cryptocurrencies, since after inviting Vitalik Buterin to discuss Ethereum and publicly endorsing the whole technology behind the product, he is now turning against his previous actions and voicing his concerns over crytocurrencies. The question whether Russia will become a “cryptocurrency heaven” or “hell” with strict regulations is not clear yet.