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[UPDATED] Authorities In Crimea Discuss Cryptocurrency Fund To Undermine Sanctions




In order to circumvent sanctions against Russia, a cryptocurrency fund may be established in Crimea, where a high-ranking Russian legislator has also discussed establishing a so-called “cryptocurrency haven.”

UPDATED | April 20, 2018:

In comments made on April 20, Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the State Duma's Financial Market Committee, indicated that one of the cryptocurrency-related draft bills that have been submitted to that legislative body would provide the legal basis for a digital asset investment platform like the one described below. 

ORIGINAL | April 19, 2018:

Authorities in Crimea, which has, since 2014, been administered as part of the Russian Federation by a government that enjoys little international recognition, are considering allowing the establishment of a cryptocurrency fund that would enable foreigners to send investments into the region in spite of sanctions on Russia.

According to a report by Russian state media outlet Tass, Georgy Muradov, the vice premier of the Crimean government and permanent representative of Crimea under the President of the Russian Federation, said that the fund would accept investments in the form of cryptocurrency. Those cryptocurrencies could then be exchanged for fiat money and used to finance projects on the peninsula.

On April 18, he told reporters:

"By the way, we are discussing these schemes of circumvention of sanctions. One of the ways is the creation of a crypto-currency investment fund in the Crimea where we can accumulate crypto-currency resources, transfer them into ordinary money and then use them to implement certain investment projects in the Crimean land."

Another news platform, Arguments of the Week - Crimea, quotes him as saying that cryptocurrency "is a way of avoiding settlements in US dollars, euros, from currency restrictions with respect to Crimea."

The following day, Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Committee on the Financial Market in Russia's lower legislative chamber, the State Duma, appeared at the ongoing Yalta International Economic Forum in Crimea, where he related that cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs might be permitted in the contested jurisdiction. Investments in these ICOs would, however, be made exclusively in fiat currency.

The lawmaker also explained that, due to the difficulties involved in supplying energy to the region, virtual currency mining would not be permitted there. "Mining for the Crimea is an illusion, but ICO and crypto-exchange are quite real," he said, adding that organizations in the sector "are working hard on this issue."

It's unclear whether these proposed policies would be permissible under several bills that Aksakov himself submitted to the State Duma, as at least one of those bills contains restrictions on the circumstances under which ICOs may be conducted, and on the ways in which exchanges are allowed to operate. However, Aksakov related to a Rambler News Service reporter present at the Forum that establishing Crimea as a "cryptocurrency haven" is "a good idea," one that the State Duma supports.

According to Tass, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev has publicly discussed the possibility of using ICOs to bring money into Crimea and, seemingly, of allowing cryptocurrency payments in the region as a way to attract foreign tourism.

Translations by Google.

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

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