Russian President Vladimir Putin has sounded a note of warning about the use of bitcoin by criminals. Putin made the comments at a conference held in Sochi, Russia with senior finance officials.
The use of cryptocurrencies bears serious risks,which include money laundering, tax evasion and terrorism funding.
Rather an outright ban, Putin called for rules and regulations to be put in place, comparable to those used in other countries and legal guarantees for those using them, so as not to stifle users.
Why Putin is sounding a warning
Critics of cryptocurrencies have often warned that the decentralized and partly anonymous nature of cryptocurrencies makes them attractive for use and attacks by criminal elements. Several bitcoin exchanges have been shut down for money laundering. Bithumb one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea was hacked in July this year, with money and user information stolen.
While several countries such as China have taken a hardline posture, Russia has taken a liberal stance. Several Russian universities have started teaching courses in bitcoin. Opinions are divided on crytpocurrencies. While personalities such as JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon and hedge fund manager Ray Dalio are pessimistic about them, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman are of the opinion, they are more than a passing fad.
The Nigerian government has taken a fairly cautious stand, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) holding stakeholder meets and developing a framework for their use. Several exchanges have begun operations in the country, with more in the works.