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Putin's aide says time isn’t ripe for Russian state-owned cryptocurrency exchange

November 29, 16:02 UTC+3 MOSCOW

President Putin said in October that the use of cryptocurrencies carries serious risks, among them opportunities for criminals to launder money, evade taxes and bankroll terrorism

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© Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS

MOSCOW, November 29. /TASS/. Given the lack of legislation governing the status of cryptocurrencies domestically, it’s too early to talk about setting up a state-owned cryptocurrency exchange in Russia, Presidential Advisor German Klimenko told reporters on Wednesday.

"The crypto-ruble and the cryptocurrency are not regulated legislatively in my understanding. Therefore, speaking about the cryptocurrency exchange is like skipping ahead a full step," Klimenko noted. Nobody has offered a solution yet on how to take cryptocurrencies out of the "gray zone," he noted.

"Firstly, they [cryptocurrencies - TASS] should be legalized and formalized - no such decisions are in place to date. So, the time isn’t ripe for talking about the cryptocurrency exchange," the presidential aide explained.

In September 2017, a working group was formed within the State Duma’s (lower house of parliament) Financial Market Committee to hammer out proposals on legalizing cryptocurrencies in Russia.

Russian Central Bank Chairperson Elvira Nabiullina has repeatedly stressed that the regulator stance on cryptocurrencies remains unchanged, noting that it does not support their endorsement as legal tender, but sees prospects for cryptocurrencies’ blockchain technology. She also said that the digital medium of exchange would not be admitted to the Russian market as ‘quasi-money’.

President Putin said in October that the use of cryptocurrencies carries serious risks, among them opportunities for criminals to launder money, evade taxes and bankroll terrorism. Furthermore, it may even become an outlet for major scams and financial pyramids, where citizens may become victims. However, he called for taking advantage of the new technology’s solutions in the banking sector. 

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