With previous news items suggesting that authorities in Russia have been cracking down on the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies, we’re now learning that there may be a change of heart going on.
According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal, The Bank of Russia — the country’s central bank — is reportedly gathering up information on a slew of digital currencies, and says they aren’t blocking anyone from using bitcoin. That information specifically came from the bank’s first deputy chairman, Georgy Luntovsky.
“At this stage we need to watch how the situation develops with these kinds of currencies,” Luntovsky commented. “These instruments should not be rejected.”
Back in January of this year, it was reported that the Central Bank of Russia had indicated that individuals using bitcoin were “unintentionally violating the law” — and continued use could be viewed as suspicious.
Those comments, not surprisingly, raised a ton of questions in the community. Along with fears.
Russia’s general prosecutor added that under existing Russian law, only the Ruble is deemed as an acceptable and legal tender currency, and that so-called “money substitutes” (such as bitcoin) were illegal.
And while Luntovsky acknowledged that evidence was readily available suggesting the digital currency is being used in Russia to purchase drugs and other illicit goods, he added that “It turns out that criminals start to use everything new.”
[textmarker color=”C24000″]Image[/textmarker]: Bart Slingerland