Russia Softens Stance on Bitcoin

russiabitcoin02 July 2014 / Wall Street Journal – Russian authorities have softened their tone on Bitcoin; the central bank now says it won’t hamper the usage of the virtual currency whereas previously it had vowed to crack down on the electronic payment instrument.

The Bank of Russia is now accumulating information about so-called crypto-currencies and is not blocking Bitcoin, the central bank’s first deputy chairman Georgy Luntovsky said Wednesday.

“At this stage we need to watch how the situation develops with these kinds of currencies. These instruments should not be rejected,” Mr. Luntovsky said.

Earlier this year the central bank warned that using Bitcoins to buy goods, services or real currencies would be viewed as a potential involvement in dubious operations and financing terrorism.

Russia’s general prosecutor also said earlier this year that Russian law said the ruble is the only official currency and using “money substitutes” such bitcoins is illegal.

Bitcoin has fallen under increasing scrutiny around the world amid concerns it could be for illegal activities. Bitcoins are an increasingly popular currency to carry out electronic transactions, as some users say they are cheaper and faster than using credit cards or money transfers…… Read more

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