The Russian government has been following Bitcoin developments for a prolonged period of time. Russian Federal Financial Monitor Service has in response called for an analytical tool to track cryptocurrency transactions, mainly focused on Bitcoin, BBC Russia reported. The monitoring system aims to prevent suspicious activities such as financial terrorism and fraud. This process is expected to work through a centralized system of information, with data being gathered and then sent to particular authorities for the purpose of exposing criminal behaviour. The system is able to find an individual’s name, bank account, credit card and phone number as well as the details of the electronic wallet. Naturally, this also encompasses Bitcoin transactions.
The Russian Federal Financial Monitor Service has always been critical toward cryptocurrencies. Back in 2014, in a press release, the regulator affirmed that use of digital money could be considered as an illegal transaction. German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin’s ex internet adviser, who also known for his severe approach to blocking the messaging app Telegram in Russia, stated the government’s position on cryptocurrency to BBC: “Due to anonymity and the inability to find sources of transactions, cryptocurrencies are used in a gray area. For example, in the Darkweb to purchase weapons, drugs or violent videos. Lawmakers in many countries are concerned about this phenomenon which was confirmed by the analysis that we conducted on behalf of the president [Vladimir Putin].”
Anton Merkurov, Satoshi.fm’s Editor-in-Chief thinks the Russian government’s hardline approach toward cryptocurrencies is like “trying to find a microbe under a microscope in a drop of water.”
“If you look at the entire volume of laundered funds, the share that is laundered through the cryptocurrency is tiny,” Merkurov stated to BBC and continued: “This should not be a priority.”
Author: Berna Bayindir
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