Russian Lawmaker Believes Terrorism is Frequently Financed via Digital Currencies

Russian law professor Alexander Bastrykin, who is currently Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia and also General of Justice of the Russian Federation, stated that digital currencies are a threat to the stability of the Russian economy.

In an interview with Russian newspaper Kommersant.ru, Bastrykin explained that virtual currencies that are not issued by a government authority or central bank may challenge the dominance of the Russian Rouble.

A translation of Bastrykin’s comment reads:

“In addition, as a result of the wide spread of these currencies can displace from the market of legal money, threatening the financial stability of the state.”

However, Bastrykin’s hypothesis regarding the perceived threat to Russia’s national currency was not his main point. His main argument against digital currencies revolved around the financing of terrorism, which he says is frequently funded with anonymous digital money:

“As experience has shown, the financing of terrorism is often used virtual cryptocurrency that has no central issuer, single point of control over transactions and payments is characterized by anonymity.”

While Bastrykin claimed that digital currencies are being used to finance terrorism is Russia, he didn’t provide any specific examples where that was the case. Bastrykin also pushed for more oversight of capital flows to and from the Russian Federation, which he claimed will put a dent in the pockets of terrorist financiers and foreign powers that are engaged in hostile behaviour towards Russia, “In addition to countering the ideological component of the ongoing information war against Russia, it is important to step up efforts to combat financial support for this activity, including tighten control over cross-border capital movements.” he explained.

According to Bastrykin’s comments, one possible solution to crushing the proliferation of digital money within Russia is to impose stiff penalties on users and issuers.

“It is therefore suggested to introduce criminal liability for illegal issuance and turnover cryptocurrency and other money substitutes.”

 

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