Bitcoin at the latest: Vladimir Putin “is considering the introduction of cryptocurrency to help Russia evade sanctions” | The independent one

Vladimir Putin’s government is looking for ways to establish a cryptocurrency that could help it evade sanctions, it has been reported.

The Kremlin is to investigate the blockchain technology behind Bitcoin as the basis for a “crypto double”.

At a recent meeting of Russian government officials, President Putin’s economic adviser Sergei Glazev said, according to the Financial Times, a cryptocurrency could be useful for conducting “sensitive activities on behalf of the state”. “We can clear accounts with our business partners around the world regardless of sanctions,” Glazev allegedly said.

A state-sanctioned cryptocurrency would represent a change in tactics from Mr Putin. In October, he threatened to shut down websites that sell digital currencies, saying that Bitcoin and its rivals are risky and used for crime.

“The use of cryptocurrencies carries serious risks. I know the position of the central bank on this, ”Putin said.

He added, “Cryptocurrencies are issued by an unlimited number of anonymous entities. Thus, buyers of cryptocurrencies could be involved in illegal activities. “

Also last month, Russia’s deputy central bank governor Sergei Shvetsov said at a conference in Moscow that the currencies were “in doubt,” according to Reuters.

“We cannot stand apart. We cannot give retailers (investors) direct and easy access to such dubious instruments, ”said Shvetsov.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum offer a level of anonymity that has made them attractive as a means of laundering money and engaging in criminal activities such as buying and selling drugs online.

They also offer a financial system that is decentralized and not under the influence of any state or central bank.

This could be at risk, however, as governments increasingly seek to regulate digital currencies after a huge surge in their values ​​in 2017. Bitcoin jumped from under $ 1,000 at the beginning of the year to nearly $ 20,000 in September before falling sharply. It was trading at $ 13,500 on Tuesday.

Russia isn’t the first country to reportedly explore the possibility of launching its own digital currency. The Swedish Riksbank has been looking into creating an electronic version of the kroon, and the Venezuelan government said last week that it was on the verge of launching its own oil-backed cryptocurrency to bring stability to the troubled country.

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