This summer, the Moscow Exchange was considering including Bitcoin-based derivatives and exchange traded funds to its portfolio. And last month, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said there was “no sense banning” digital currencies, but instead that there was “a need to regulate them.”
However, Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev recently called Bitcoin a pyramid scheme and announced his intention only to allow “qualified investors” rather than “ordinary people” to buy Bitcoin.
Russian government-owned RT has now reported that Vladimir Putin has decided to block crypto-currencies in general, and Bitcoin in particular. Putin believes digital currencies could be used for criminal activities money laundering, tax evasion, fraud scheme and even terrorism financing.
Putin also stated that Bitcoin itself is a pyramid scheme. Russia’s central bank followed suit, calling Bitcoin a pyramid scheme: “We have seen how Bitcoin has transformed a payment unit into an asset, which is bought in order to obtain a high yield in a short period of time. This is the definition of a pyramid.”
The Bank of Russia has now started to block all Bitcoin exchanges in the country.
Surprisingly, and despite the Chinese ICO and exchange ban last month, followed by South Korea’s ICO ban, and now Russia’s Bitcoin ban, Bitcoin’s prices remain strong and close to their highest point.