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Russian Roulette: Central Bank Calls Crypto Investment ‘Gambling’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The crypto-skeptic Russian Central Bank (CB) has taken another swipe at crypto – equating investment in digital tokens to “playing roulette” or investing in “pyramid schemes.” Meanwhile, some experts have suggested that new Russian “suspicious funds” seizure laws could be applied to crypto holdings.

Source: Adobe/Victor Moussa

In a YouTube video released by the CB, the bank’s First Deputy Governor Sergey Shvetsov, stated,

“The CB, as a financial regulator, holds the position that the acquisition of cryptocurrencies does not represent an investment. It is more like a financial pyramid or a game of roulette. [Gambling of this sort] should not apply to the financial market and [citizens buying cryptocurrencies] should not be encouraged either by the state or by financial intermediaries.”

He also warned that tokens “are also used to circumvent anti-money laundering regulations.”

He added,

“We certainly do not support citizens’ investments in this criminal sector.”

The comments appear to show that the CB will attempt to hold no prisoners as it faces off against pro-crypto and pro-business advocates in the weeks ahead. An industry insider has told that the government is hoping to create a law governing crypto investment in the coming months. Doing so will involve striking a compromise between the CB and the pro-industry forces.

Elsewhere, RBC reported that crypto owners could come under threat from a new legal proposal from the nation’s Ministry of Finance.

The ministry wants to give law enforcement agencies the power to confiscate funds of citizens from affect owners of “capital” who cannot prove the legality of their funds’ acquisition. Seized funds will be transferred to the national pension fund, if the ministry gets its way.

RBC quotes Mikhail Uspensky, a partner at Taxology and a teacher at the Moscow Digital School, as stating that the measures would likely be applicable to bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptoassets. However, he added that attempts to police the nation’s crypto funds thus would be beset with technical difficulties that the authorities would likely struggle to overcome.