Russia Drafts Bill To Regulate Cryptocurrency And ICOs

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The Russian Ministry of Finance has drafted a bill for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The Russian Government had planned to ban crypto-currencies as they could be used to launder money and finance terrorism. But the Finance Ministry later decided that the ban would only create conditions for its illegal use.

"Trades with cryptocurrencies have become so widespread, a legal ban on such activity would lead to the creation of conditions for the use of cryptocurrencies as an instrument to service illegal businesses, launder criminal incomes, and finance terrorism," the Finance Ministry said in a statement Thursday.

The new Bill, jointly developed by the country's central bank and finance ministry, regulates cryptocurrency transactions without fully banning them or legalizing digital currency as a means of payment in Russia.

The new legislation would permit trade in cryptocurrencies through digital exchanges which meet certain conditions. It includes imposing tax on cryptocurrency transactions.

The Bill makes it clear that that the use of cryptocurrencies in the Russian territory as a means of payment is not allowed.

The central banks of China and India have warned investors against betting on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

The central banks of Indonesia and Bangladesh have banned the use of bitcoin as a payment tool, while South Korea has banned ICOs as a way of raising money.

South Korean government has introduced regulations on cryptocurrency, and banned their anonymous trading.

Despite increased scrutiny and regulation across the globe, the price of bitcoin has soared since the start of 2017.

Meanwhle, a new study has found that Cryptocurrency investments in Russian startups have increased 10 times in 2017 when entrepreneurs set in motion more than 100 crypto-funded projects. Russians are optimistic about bitcoin and most of them predict it will be priced higher a month from now, according to the estimates.

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