Russia will have another means of payment. However, we are not talking about new cuts and not even on securities. The Ministry of Finance intends to 2018 to legalize virtual electronic money — bitcoin. According to experts, this measure will help our country to build a more modern, innovative economy. In particular, the so-called digital money will allow, bypassing the sanctions and other restrictive measures to attract investment. However, the authorities will have to keep their finger on the pulse: increasing cryptocurrency market will grow and many related risks.
The legal status of bitcoin in Russia has been discussed for several years. And more recently, the same Ministry of Finance was his fierce opponent. In March last year, the office prepared a bill to criminalize bitcoin transactions up to imprisonment for 7 years. But then in the minds of officials, something snapped and they suspended the development of the document. And then completely changed the temper justice with mercy. And now, according to Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev, the Russian authorities are considering the possibility to legalize bitcoin transactions and other cryptocurrencies in 2018.
Look different with virtual money our Ministry of Finance forced foreign experience. For example, bitcoin can be legally used in Croatia. However, it is not required to accept as payment in stores. Not prohibited by “digital” money in the United States. But beyond all this the question has moved to Japan, where from 1 April, bitcoin received the status of full-fledged means of payment. One of the largest network of electronics stores in the country — the Big Camera — had already begun to accept them for payment.
At the same time, the Chinese are wary of this newfangled trend, in contrast to the Japanese. In late 2013 China banned financial institutions from doing business with bitcoins. The accounts of companies involved in trafficking of cryptocurrencies are blocked.
Fears of Chinese authorities is understandable. The fact that under bitcoin refers to a digital currency, created and working only on the Internet. No one controls it, the issue of currency occurs through the work of millions of computers worldwide, using the program to calculate the mathematical algorithms. As a result, the cryptocurrency can be used for questionable or even illegal operations. For instance, bitcoins are lit up in a scandalous story with an anonymous Internet-shop “silk road”, which lasted from 2011 to 2013. They sold prohibited goods, weapons and drugs, and payment accepted only bitcoin.
In Russia, according to the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova, while transactions with cryptocurrencies are minimal, and urgent measures for their monitoring by the regulator is not required. However, apparently, the Finance Ministry decided to err. Legalization of bitcoins will be held in the framework of the fight against illegal transactions. “As in the case of conventional banking, we have to understand who buys, who sells,” — said Alexey Moiseev.
According to experts, the initiative of the Ministry of Finance suggests that the government recognize the future of virtual money. “The fact that the government changed the rhetoric with a complete taboo on the use of bitcoin and for that introduction of criminal responsibility will have a positive impact on the cryptocurrency market in Russia and will contribute to their development and further spread in the country” — the analyst believes the social network for investors eToro in Russia and the CIS Mikhail Mashchenko.
According to experts, bitcoin will help Russia make a technological breakthrough and thus to build an innovative economy. “In fact, this is the same currency as usual for us dollar or the Euro. Bitcoin can be very interesting, for example, for savings, as it is independent of inflation. At the first stage of the population, of course, can relate to cryptocurrency rather intently. But when you “get the bug”, I think the tool can be quite popular”, — the analyst of Forex Club Irina Rogova.
However, experts warn that we should not forget about the risks that exist for “money from the system.” “As for possible risks, it is important to question algorithms for cryptographic protection of information. As you increase the scale of this market will increase risks. And invulnerable protection algorithm does not yet exist”, warns the General Director “the Uniform electronic trading platform” Anton Emelyanov.
In particular, the growth in this case will become more active usage of bitcoin in the shadow schemes and inflating financial bubble due to a sharp increase in interest in the new legal instrument. Therefore, the recognition of cryptocurrencies in Russia is likely to be long and complicated.