Russia ready to regulate, not ban cryptocurrencies

UNTV News   •   January 25, 2018   •   3468

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

DOF warns public vs bogus cryptocurrency platform

Robie de Guzman   •   May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) has warned the public against an article alleging that the Philippines is creating a platform for its citizens to invest in cryptocurrency.

In a statement, the DOF said the article claiming that the government has created a platform called “Bitcoin Lifestyle” is fake news.

“There is no such effort by the government,” Finance assistant secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II said.

“We categorically deny that there is such a move, and warn the public against potentially harmful financial transactions with those behind the article,” he added.

The DOF said the fake news article also stated that President Duterte is “urging all citizens of the Philippines to learn about the platform to get involved.

The article also claimed that the “tax revenues will be huge and will benefit all citizens” and “will go to the financing of Philippines’ retirement and to counteract the crisis of learning support services.”

“This is false. We urge the public to exercise caution in their investments, and to keep their expectations of returns realistic,” Lambino said.

The Finance official also urged the public to report similarly suspicious investment schemes to the Enforcement and Investor Protection Department of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), with telephone number 8818-5704.

“We warn unscrupulous individuals and groups attempting to lure the public into unauthorized and deceptive investment schemes that the government is monitoring the public space for such schemes, and will take appropriate legal and regulatory action,” he added.

Russia to investigate safety of ventilators after hospital fire kills five

UNTV News   •   May 12, 2020

Russian authorities said they would look into the safety of artificial lung ventilators being used at two hospitals after a fire broke out in St Petersburg at one of them on Tuesday (May 12) morning and killed five people.

The blaze erupted after a ventilator in an intensive care ward treating 20 patients with the novel coronavirus burst into flames, one source told the TASS news agency.

It was the second fire to break out at a hospital treating coronavirus patients in less than a week. A similar fire erupted at a Moscow hospital on Saturday killing one person.

A TASS law enforcement source said that a ventilator had caused that fire too. The source said the ventilators that caused both fires had been produced in the same factory in the Urals region.

Roszdravnadzor, Russia’s federal service for supervising healthcare, said it would check the quality and safety of the ventilators in the two hospitals, the RIA news agency reported.

Investigators opened a criminal case into Tuesday’s fire.

Russia is relatively well stocked with ventilators and has increased domestic production since the coronavirus outbreak. But data, experts, and some medics say many machines outside big cities are old.

In this case however, the ventilator reported to have started the St. Petersburg fire was new, TASS reported, having only been installed this month.

A third fire broke out on Monday at a private hospice in the Moscow region which killed nine elderly people outright.

The hospice’s owner was detained by police. A further two people later died in hospital, the RIA news agency reported.

Russia has reported 232,243 cases of the novel coronavirus, the second highest number of cases in the world as of Tuesday morning according to the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, and 2,116 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Anton Vagonov, Tatiana Gomozova)

Russia test-launches controversial tracking app in coronavirus lockdown

UNTV News   •   April 13, 2020

Russia’s Ministry of communications has released a mobile phone app which allows people to have an instant security clearance to leave their homes during the coronavirus lockdown.

Users have to register with their passport details and supply a selfie to carry a clearance on their mobile phones to be shown on demand by the security forces. Reasons to be out of doors include taking out the rubbish, walking a dog, visiting hospital, caring for someone or going to work.

But the app means the user can be tracked by authorities, which has led to criticism from human rights campaigners.

The Roskomsvoboda organisation, which monitors internet freedom in the country, told Reuters that some measures during the pandemic were understandable, but the biggest fear was that they would not be lifted once the pandemic ends.

In a press released the ministry said the mobile app was designed for testing and its use is not mandatory.

Russia on Sunday reported 2,186 new coronavirus cases, the largest daily increase since the start of the outbreak.

Moscow and many other regions have been in lockdown for nearly two weeks to stem the contagion, but the number of cases was on the rise and reached 15,770 as of April 12, while the number of deaths rose to 130. (Reuters)

(Production: Maria Vasilyeva, Gennadiy Novik, Dmitry Turlyun)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.