Russia has officially recognized the legitimacy of the world’s most popular digital currency Bitcoin and plans to introduce regulations in 2018 to facilitate the use of the cryptocurrency.
Only just a year ago, Russia’s Finance Ministry threatened jail time for anyone found using digital currencies. Now, in a turn of events, Russia has finally realized the growing popularity and legitimacy of Bitcoin and its potential to aid in implementing regulations against money laundering and illegal transfers.
The bitcoin has been continually climbing in the past three weeks after a sharp fall in the second half of March. As of Tuesday in New York, the price of a single coin rose by 1.1% and sold for as high as $1,232, an increase of 28% since the beginning of the year.
The news of Russia jumping aboard the bitcoin train follows the recent developments coming from Japan who has passed a law at the beginning of the month allowing financial institutions to participate in the bitcoin market making cryptocurrencies a legal method of payment in Japan now.
The assignment of a legal status to Bitcoin as a currency encourages the use of it by community members for a variety of functions such as payment for their daily needs and opens doors for updated regulations governing the use of Bitcoin in the country.
Within the next few months, the financial governance and regulatory bodies in Russia are expected to take a decision regarding the legal status of Bitcoin. Once this is finalized, the involved departments and ministries will begin to draft new regulations and compliance requirements for Bitcoin platforms and the cryptocurrency community.
Deputy Finance Minister of Russia, Alexey Moiseev said in an interview that the authorities hope to recognize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in 2018 as they seek to enforce rules against illegal transfers. He went on to say: “The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain. If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations.”
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