Russian authorities say Bitcoin illegal

MOSCOW Sun Feb 9, 2014 4:25pm IST

Some of Bitcoin enthusiast Mike Caldwell's coins are pictured at his office in this photo illustration in Sandy, Utah, January 31, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Some of Bitcoin enthusiast Mike Caldwell's coins are pictured at his office in this photo illustration in Sandy, Utah, January 31, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Urquhart REUTERS/Jim Urquhart

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - 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.

"Citizens and legal entities risk being drawn - even unintentionally - into illegal activity, including laundering of money obtained through crime, as well as financing terrorism," it warned.

The Prosecutor's General Office said it was working with the central bank and other law enforcement agencies to tighten regulations and prevent legal offences committed with the use of pseudo-currencies.

The Bitcoin community in the United States, far more developed than the one in Russia, has already come under intense scrutiny as authorities crack down on illegal activity carried out using the digital currency.

(Writing by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

AMAZON

TECH SHOWCASE

Rising Market Value

Rising Market Value

Facebook goes express to mega-cap status  Full Article 

Right to be Forgotten

Right to be Forgotten

Google under fire from regulators over response to EU privacy ruling.  Full Article 

Record Smartphone Sales

Record Sales

LG Electronics flags further mobile improvement after Q2 profit jump.  Full Article 

Smartwatch

Smartwatch

Swatch Group denies working with Apple on smartwatch.  Full Article 

Strong Results

Strong Results

Nokia's fortunes brighten on heavy network spending.  Full Article 

Battle of Giants

Battle of Giants

In China, Apple's focus pays off while Samsung feels squeeze.  Full Article 

Anonymity Services

Anonymity Services

Flaws could expose users of privacy-protecting software, researchers say.  Full Article 

Biggest Chipmaker

Biggest Chipmaker

China regulator determines Qualcomm has monopoly - state-run newspaper.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage