Investing in Bitcoin is seen by many crypto currency enthusiasts as the only way to really free themselves of the strictures of the FIAT money system. However, according to Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev, these are “high risk financial pyramids”.
He is also putting his money where his mouth is and plans to ban the sale of Bitcoin to everyday and “non professional” investors. The remarks were made in a televised interview with Russian state media. In a roughly translated transcript, Mr Moiseev said.
There is a point of view that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin is a financial pyramid. It is difficult to argue this point of view. Such investments are high-risk. This determines our approach to their regulation.
This was on the back of some legislation that was proposed by Mr Moiseev earlier this year. This legislation is trying to find a way in which the Russian state can effectively regulate the sale and ownership of Bitcoin.
Moiseev wants to see that only those investors who are qualified to invest in “complicated” instruments will be able to take part. He also revealed that the ministry of finance was in discussion with the central bank as well as the Moscow Stock exchange about the potential regulations.
That Mr Moiseev wants to take these steps should not be a massive shock for anyone. This is because he previously threatened to send people to jail for up to 7 years if they used Bitcoin. This was introduced as a bill in parliament by the Ministry of finance. To the relief of many Bitcoin users, the bill did not get the support in parliament and eventually was tossed out earlier this year.
There were also the various claims made about the use of Bitcoin for illegal business. Moiseev claimed that Bitcoin has been used by a number of criminal organisations in Europe and Russia without much evidence being presented. He also stated that Russia’s financial watchdog, Rosfinmonitoring will always know who is transacting in the coins once the regulation goes through.
These developments also come on the heels of comments by Russia’s central bank chairwomen Olga Skorobogatova who wants to regulate bitcoins like a “digital commodity” where tax can also be collected. This is an interesting statement given that the central bank is also looking at ways in which they can use blockchain technology to create a digital national currency.