FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Finance Ministry said on Thursday it was working on legislation to regulate cryptocurrency transactions without fully banning them or legalising digital FX as a means of payment in Russia.
Russia had initially said it would ban crypto-currencies as they could be used to launder money and finance terrorism. But as such currencies and particularly Bitcoin grew popular worldwide, Russian authorities have changed tack.
The ministry said it had prepared a bill that would permit trade in cryptocurrencies through digital exchanges which met certain conditions and would also cover initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Doing this, the ministry said, would reduce the risk of fraud and make it possible to tax cryptocurrency transactions to support the state budget.
The ministry highlighted that digital currencies and tokens would not be allowed to replace the Russian rouble.
“It should be noted, that the use of cryptocurrencies in the territory of the Russian Federation as a means of payment is not being suggested,” the ministry said in a statement.
Authorities around the world, particularly in Asia, have attempted to rein in the global boom in trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies – a form of digital money created and maintained by its users.
Chinese authorities have banned initial coin offerings and shut down local trading platforms, while South Korea – where speculation on cryptocurrencies is also rife – is working on plans to ban virtual coin exchanges.
The Russian ministry stopped short, however, of proposing a full ban.
“Trades with cryptocurrencies have become so widespread, a legal ban on such activity would lead to the creation of conditions for the use of cryptocurrencies as an instrument to service illegal businesses, launder criminal incomes, and finance terrorism,” the Russian ministry said.
Reporting by Andrey Ostroukh and Jack Stubbs; Editing by Toby Chopra
Russian military holds chemical attack drill
Man in chemical protection suit holding a red flag during the chemical attack drill in Russia | REUTERS
The Russian military held a chemical attack drill on Sunday (September 16) as part of major military exercises Vostok-2018.
The Russian defense ministry published a video showing servicemen in chemical protection suits and gas masks cleaning tanks.
Russia’s biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) drills, which run until Sept. 17, take place in eastern Siberia close to the border with China and involve 300,000 Russian troops.
The exercises involve over a thousand military aircraft as well as up to 36,000 tanks, come amid tense relations between Russia and the West. — Reuters
Trump says he’ll be Putin’s ‘worst enemy’ if U.S.-Russia relationship fails
U.S. President Donald Trump. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday (July 19) he would be Vladimir Putin’s “worst enemy” if things don’t “work out” with Russia.
“Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia’s a positive not a negative. Now with that being said if that doesn’t work out I’ll be the worst enemy he’s ever had. The worst he’s ever had” Trump said during an interview with CNBC.
Trump also was critical of Germany’s agreement to acquire natural gas from Russia as well as former President Barack Obama’s relationship with Russia. -Reuters