back to article Russia's Putin out the idea of a broad cryptocurrency ban

Russia has floated the prospect of Putin a ban on cryptocurrencies. The Bank of Russia, the nation's central bank, yesterday published a Consultation Paper [PDF] titled "Cryptocurrencies: Trends, Risks, and Regulation" that ponders the impact of unbacked cryptocurrencies and stablecoins on Russia's economy. The document opens …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Russia’s economy is regulated?

    I thought it was every oligarch for themselves!

    1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Re: Russia’s economy is regulated?

      Even oligarchs must be Putin up with some oversight to continue otherwise unregulated operations.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Russia’s economy is regulated?

      Half the Russian economy is based on criminal enterprises like ransomware, mercenaries (e.g. Mali), and evading UN sactions. No doubt there's an under the table understanding that as long as the kleptocracy gets it's cut, the Russian government will look the other way. It's that type of regulation.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Somehow, this had to happen

    Having an unregulated currency in Putinland was always something of a surprise to me. When China put the kibosh on funny money, it was a "duh" moment, because of course the PRC government was not going to accept people having anything out of its control.

    I think that the only reason Putin has not yet actually put his foot down on this market is because of all the blackhats he has creating mischief and mayhem everywhere else. He might lop off a head here and there, when the Western nations come crying too loudly, but otherwise it's all good for him.

    Now the central bank is saying nuh-uh. It'll be interesting to see how this goes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Somehow, this had to happen

      Funny money in China?

      wasn't one of Chinas currency printers recently caught double printing each currency frame of numbers of Yuan. one for you, one for me, click-rotate number sets by 1, rinse, repeat... They were also found to be printing off other currencies, GBP, Euros, Dollars, etc... All with "genuine" security markers and on just the right type of paper.

      Honestly you couldn't make this up, (yet they did and got away with it for a long time)

      A lot of the duplicates of the dodgy-Yuan went to the leading CCP party members,, and put away for a rainy day.

      if you are looking for any of the hooky notes and coins, just ask the guy in the dark corner of the local pub, (that is when they reopen.) or just pop a container or 2 on the China Express, bound to be a pallet or 2 on each shipment rolling into Germany.

  3. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    OMG

    This is probably the only thing I and Putin will ever agree on. Apart from bare chest horse riding of course.

    I was speaking to someone who made a pile of cash gambling with crypto last year, even so he said its basically a giant ponzi scheme.

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: OMG

      And it is gambling. I always laugh when I see the term "Crypto Investor". This is not an investment, it's pure speculation, a 100% greater fool market. There is no intrinsic value and no value being created.

      everyone is just throwing their money in the pot and waiting for the right moment to take their share, wait too long and your share will be zero.

    2. MajDom

      Re: OMG

      And wrestling people who have been told to act like limp dolls. I agree on that too.

    3. jollyboyspecial

      Re: OMG

      It's not quite a Ponzi scheme, but it is extremely unstable.

      It's not so much that it's unregulated that's the big problem, it's the fact that crypto currencies are not underwritten by anything that's the major stumbling block. Sure governments might not like it because they can't easilly tax crypto transactions (yet). But from a market stability point of view it's the lack of any underpinning that has the most potential for disaster. Real currencies are underwritten by governments and banks. I know some people find it hard to understand, but it is in too many people's interests for a major currency to collapse and therefore governments, banks and other organizations make sure it never happens.

      So far there hasn't been a test of what happens when a crypto currency collapses, but if an announcement like that can cause a drop of around 10% I don't think we'll have to wait all that long to find out when one of these currencies goes into freefall.

      1. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: OMG

        There have been something like 1000 failed crypto currencies, but they were small enough to not matter.

        But even though BItcoin is the biggest the net impact of going to zero is also zero because it's all a zero sum game. The money that people have spent on bitcoin won't disappear, it's already in the pockets of those that cashed.

      2. NerryTutkins

        Re: OMG

        I don't think the problem they are not underwritten is important. FIAT currencies aren't underwritten by anything really, the gold standard went out long ago.

        The primary problem I see with bitcoin is that what utility it might have (effectively a store of value like cash, but unlike cash, one that can be transferred electronically while maintaining that relative anonymity) that creates value merely encourages speculators which in turn renders it useless as a currency, because nobody is going to spend something that can double in value in a few weeks, and nobody wants to accept something that can drop 10% in an hour.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well...

    "Crypto mining should be stopped, the document says, because it's a wasteful use of resources."

    Finally, something me and Russia agree on. Time to end this (block)chain of bollocks.

  5. DRue2514

    Maybe it has also something to do with the fact that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has received several million dollars in Bitcoin after the authorities had frozen him out of the banking system and seized his assets. Anyone just thinking Bitcoin is "bollocks" should see the world from a less priviledged first world viewpoint. There are millions of people who are unbanked or live in countries where assets can simply be taken away. It enables people to transfer wealth across borders just by remembering a seed phrase. This is a powerful technology.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Anyone just thinking Bitcoin is "bollocks" should see the world from a less priviledged first world viewpoint."

      So you mean the "unpriviledged" should just get themselves a computer or a smartphone and a reliable internet connection?

      I'm not sure you fully grasp that people who are "unbanked" also don't get access to those basic crapcoin necessities.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @DRue2514 - Yeah, but

      the vast majority of cryptocurrency is owned by a few privileged in the privileged first world. And I don't think they would want to share that with the unprivileged from those third world unprivileged countries.

      Verdict: it is bollocks. Don't tell me all this is being done for the sake of the unprivileged.

  6. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

    Empty Platitude

    If this guy is gonna make a play for the Ukr's, a distraction like this is ideal.

    Say something (that just strains credulity enough) to keep your opponent off balance. Or that triggers useful idiots to scurry into crossfire or otherwise divert attention from the actual point of contention.

    This guy's lining up tanks and we're talking about a novel currency with all the ostensible security of Monoply (TM) money?

    Oh, ok.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Empty Platitude

      People are able to talk and think about multiple things at the same time, you know. Multi-tasking is not just for computers. The folks in Defence Forces, NATO, etc. are doing the thinking about the tanks, those of us who work in IT and technology tend to think more about the stuff related to IT.

      And you know what, a Tech/IT site focusing on the IT stuff, should not really surprise you? If you want to focus on the other stuff, try a military forum somewhere, perhaps?

  7. Ken G Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Cryptocurrencies do "reduce government control and are used by crims"

    But those aren't the reasons to ban them. Try the resources they consume, environment impact etc and the fact they're a scam from beginning to end. I don't really care that the Russian government can't control them or that low level drug dealers might lose their savings with an old USB key.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    transact an estimated $5 billion a year

    lol, I wonder why this is...

  9. msobkow Silver badge

    Bwahahahahaha!

    I don't revel in crypto kids getting burned. Any more than I revel any anyone else chasing after scummy "get rich quick schemes" losing their shirts.

    Not at all. They deserve it for expecting to get "Money for Nothing" without paying tribute to Dire Straits. :P

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