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Russia ready to regulate, not ban cryptocurrencies

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, 25 January 2018 06:52 PM

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

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Infant found alive in rubble after Russia gas blast flown to Moscow

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, 2 January 2019 09:20 AM

 

A rescuer carrying infant in Magnitogorsk, Russia on January 1, 2019 | Photo courtesy of MCHS via REUTERS

A baby boy who had been found alive after a gas blast in the Russian city of Magnitogorsk was transferred to Moscow on Tuesday (January 1) to receive medical help.

Rescuers found the 11-month-old boy after after 35 hours in freezing cold in the rubble. The Ministry of Health said that the boy’s condition was “critical but stable”.

The blast was thought to have been caused by a gas leak and damaged 48 apartments in a 10-storey building in the industrial city of Magnitogorsk on Monday. At least nine people were killed and dozens are still missing, Russian news agency TASS quoted the local Ministry of Emergencies representative. — Reuters

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A new Russian first lady? Putin hints he may marry again

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 21 December 2018 07:15 AM

 

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking at an annual news conference about his marriage plans in Moscow, Russia on December 20, 2018 | REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (December 20) he’d probably have to get married again, but did not say to whom.

Putin, 66, who jealously protects his privacy and that of his close family, was replying to a question posed by a reporter at his annual press conference, which focused mainly on international relations and the state of the economy.

“As a respectable person, I will have to do this at some point,” Putin said, smiling.

Putin was married to Lyudmila Putina from 1983 until their divorce, announced in 2013.

Their daughters, Katerina and Maria, both in their early 30s, are not involved in politics and have stayed firmly out of the limelight.

Since he divorced his wife Lyudmila, rumours have swirled around Putin’s personal life. One Russian newspaper report said he was in a relationship with Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast, though Putin rejected the assertion.

Reuters reported in 2016 that a businessman with ties to associates of Putin had transferred ownership of properties to Alina Kabaeva’s sister and grandmother. — Reuters

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Space crew survives plunge to Earth after Russian rocket fails

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, 12 October 2018 10:22 AM

A plane carrying astronauts landing on the tarmac in Baikonur, Kazakhstan | NASA via REUTERS

A two-man U.S.-Russian crew of a Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station was safe following a dramatic emergency landing on Thursday (October 11) shortly after lift-off in Kazakhstan when their rocket failed in mid-air.

U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely and rescue crews who raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linked up with them, according to the U.S. space agency NASA and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.

The emergency occurred as the first and second stages of a booster rocket separated shortly after launch from Kazakhstan’s Soviet-era cosmodrome of Baikonur.

“It just reemphasizes that this is a dangerous business,” NASA’s deputy chief assistant, Reid Wiseman, said during a briefing at the Johnson Space Center.

The Soyuz capsule carrying the two men separated from the malfunctioning rocket and made what NASA called a steep ballistic descent to Earth with parachutes helping to slow its speed. A cloud of sand billowed up as the capsule came down on the desert steppe.

The capsule took 34 minutes to reach the ground after it separated from the faulty rocket, NASA said.

Rescue crews then raced to the scene to retrieve them, including paratroopers parachuting to their landing spot, helicopters and all-terrain vehicles, NASA said.— Reuters

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