Cryptocurrency and a Growing Payments MarketIn Russia, cryptocurrency payments have been growing, as a number of online stores, cafes, and bars are known to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. The country also boasts a growing economy of remote workers that offer services to clients outside of its borders. These freelancers, like their counterparts, across the world, use Bitcoin as a means of eliminating insane fees from payment processors. In a world, where the government dictates how you spend your wealth, Bitcoin has proven to be the perfect asset for many. The news is coming just weeks after the Russian government was reported to be looking into the possibility of seizing digital currencies suspected to be involved in criminal activity. According to a report by local news medium RBC, several government agencies have been tasked with developing and enforcing procedures that would be used in carrying out these seizures. Agencies such as the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office, and the Justice Ministry, among others, will come together with the assistance of the Russian Supreme Court.
Drawing Up RegulationsHowever, the implementation of these regulations won’t be easy. Speaking with RBC, Konstantin Golikov, co-owner and chief executive of the DailyRich platform explained that regulations will need to be made public in order for confiscation to work, as crypto assets would need to be recognized as either cash or an equivalent. “If law enforcement agencies begin to discuss the forfeiture of cryptocurrency, then, in fact, they are launching a mechanism for legalizing cryptocurrency on the territory of Russia. But, in my opinion, the Bank of Russia will seriously resist this,” stated Golikov. Perhaps this difficulty proved to be a herculean task for the government, as they are now seeking to ban the assets altogether.
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