Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office recently made its stance on Bitcoin abundantly clear. “Systems for anonymous payments and cyber currencies that have gained considerable circulation are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals or legal entities,” the office said in a recent press release reported by Reuters. Any use of Bitcoin will be considered “potentially suspicious,” as the Russian government has linked Bitcoin usage to illicit activities.
Russian authorities have issued warnings against using Bitcoin, saying the virtual currency could be used for money laundering or financing terrorism and that treating it as a parallel currency is illegal. “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,” the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said on February6. It added that Russian law stipulates that the rouble is the sole official currency and that introducing any other monetary units or substitutes was illegal. Russia’s central bank also said on January 27 that Bitcoin trade was highly speculative and that the unit carried a big risk of losing value.