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Putin says legislative regulation of cryptocurrency market may be needed

The Russian president compared investments into cryptocurrencies with shared-equity construction

MOSCOW, January 11. /TASS/. Legislative regulation of the cryptocurrency market may be needed in future, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

"This is the prerogative of the Central Bank at present and the Central Bank has sufficient authority so far. However, in broad terms, legislative regulation will be definitely required in future," the president said.

The Bank of Russia is acting conservatively in this sphere but such conservatism is not without reason, Putin said. "It is known that the cryptocurrency is not backed by anything. It cannot be a store of value. No material valuables are behind it and it is not secured by anything. It can be a settlement medium to a certain degree and in certain situations. This is done quickly and efficiently," he said.

Investments into cryptocurrencies can be compared with shared-equity construction by the risk level, the head of state said. "We cannot afford recurrence of the situation with the cryptocurrency, as it happened with deceived equity construction investors. If we regulate and, furthermore, regulate insufficiently effective, then the state will be responsible for the grave situation the people may face," Putin said. All risks are currently borne by investors, he noted.

The Russian Ministry of Finance expects to introduce a bill on the regulation of new financial technologies, including setting rules for circulation of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings in the territory of Russia, until the end of February 2018, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told reporters earlier on Thursday.