Russia warns of legal hassles for Bitcoin users

Mar 7, 2014
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Russian users of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies could be prosecuted for money laundering and financial terrorism, the Russian central bank said 27 January, Bloomberg reports.

The warning came days after Sberbank chief and former Economy Minister German Gref urged that restrictions on the use of virtual currencies be lifted. Government-owned Sberbank, Russia’s biggest lender, was considering entering the virtual currency market itself, Gref said in December.

Photo by antanacoins/Flickr

The central bank’s warning came two weeks after lawmakers began considering measures to limit online money transfers to some $450 per person per month and ban anonymous online money transfers completely.

The Russian financial authority’s move echoes bans on Bitcoin use in Denmark and China and a similar warning by the European Banking Authority in December.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin is gaining ground. The operator of a Bitcoin ATM in Bratislava, Slovakia, claims his is the first such machine in Europe, and a Romanian entrepreneur recently launched a platform to trade between Bitcoins and Romanian currency, Romania Insider reports.



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