MOSCOW, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Russian authorities have agreed to regulate the crypto-currency market, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday, cited by TASS news agency.
The minister’s comment comes the day after President Vladimir Putin discussed the issue with Siluanov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, presidential economic aide Andrey Belousov, and Sergei Solonin, the head of online payment company Qiwi.
Putin said on Tuesday crypto-currencies were risky and used for crime. Russia’s central bank has said it would block websites selling bitcoin and its rivals to households.
“The president has spoken of the problems related to crypto-currencies. These are difficulties regarding ... money laundering and cases that are related to identification issues,” TASS quoted Siluanov as saying.
“That’s why we have agreed that the state should regulate the issuing of crypto-currencies, their mining and turnover. The state should take all this under control,” Siluanov said.
Siluanov’s comments echoed his earlier calls to regulate the market for virtual currencies. Siluanov, however, has not elaborated yet on how his ministry sees regulation of the crypto-currencies market.
Bitcoin, the most well-known virtual currency that emerged in mid-2010, is increasingly popular worldwide and in Russia as it promises substantial profits. One bitcoin last traded at around $4,811, up from its initial price of less than $1. (Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)