Russian President Vladimir Putin: “Cryptocurrencies Carry Serious Risks”

News, Regulation | October 11, 2017 By:

A day after a Russia Central Bank official said the country would ban exchange trading in cryptocurrency, Russian president Vladimir Putin made his strongest statements to date against digital currency.

In a meeting quoted by state news service TASS, Putin called for more regulation on cryptocurrency, and should look to foreign regulators who have cracked down on such trading.

“Virtual [currencies] or cryptocurrencies are becoming and have already become more popular,” said Putin. “They have already become or are turning into a full-fledged payment instrument and an investment asset in certain countries. At the same time, use of cryptocurrencies also carries serious risks.”

He added: “We should develop such a regulatory system on the basis of international experience that will make possible to make relations in this sphere systemic, definitely protect interests of citizens, business and the government, and provide legal guarantees for work with innovative financial instruments,” he said.

Bank of Russia executives were present at the Putin meeting, according to news reports. The Putin remarks continue the see-saw by Russian officials on the matter. Last month, the country created Ethereum Russia with ethereum cofounder Vitalik Buterin, and Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated that plans were in the works to legalize cryptocurrency. But other officials have condemned cryptocurrency in strong language, and have posited everything from an outright ban to stricter, state-controlled registration and regulation, to creating Russia’s own cryptocurrency.