Russia moves quickly in its push against Bitcoin and other decentralised currencies, as it first issued a ban on access to exchanges, then followed that up with a state-mandated currency.
This play is to seemingly control the burgeoning cryptocurrency market within its state borders, allowing the government to be in charge of digital currencies and of course to tax them.
The Russian regulatory model is one that is seemingly not against digital currencies, but against ones that are decentralized and not controlled by powerful officials. This has in turn seen more and more of those at the top in Russia come out and slander Bitcoin.
Russia’s Economic Development Minister, Maksim Oreskin, has said that Bitcoin is no better than casinos.
Taking a gamble
In a talk at the World’s Festival of Youth in Sochi, Oreskin said Bitcoin had characteristics that made it worse than casinos, state-backed Russian media outlet RT reported.
He was speaking on a day which saw Bitcoin suffer its deepest one-day decline in a month, with rumours circulating that the USA may well be clamping down in the near future.
“As for Bitcoin, if you look at how the value of this asset fluctuates, it’s dozens of percent up, then dozens of a percent down. An asset that can be available for an unqualified investor should not have such characteristics, because it’s worse than casinos. First, you earn, then you will lose everything and be left with nothing,” Oreshkin said.
“Those who do not know how to manage risks in instruments with such volatility, should not be able to invest, because in 99.9 percent of cases it results in losses for such people and then they will find themselves in a difficult life situation, which is not good,” Oreshkin added.
A Russian way of doing things
In a manner similar to the Russian state capture of cryptocurrencies, the finance minister has his own thoughts on how to deal with Bitcoin in the country.
Oreshkin has proposed granting the right to trade Bitcoins only to qualified investors. To get the status, you need to have at least six million rubles in your account ($100,000), make at least 40 transactions a year with a turnover of six million rubles, or have worked for at least two years in a financial institution that traded securities.