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Russian Finance Ministry Proposes Offshore Cryptocurrency Trade Platforms

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KASIMOV (Ryazan Region) (Sputnik) - The Russian Finance Ministry is proposing to create special offshore cryptocurrency trade platforms in Russia and is considering the Russian cities of Vladivostok and Kaliningrad as possible locations, Deputy Minister Alexei Moiseev said Friday.

"In general, we are considering the possibility of setting up centralized [cryptocurrencies] trade platforms on Russky Island [in Vladivostok], Oktyabrsky Island [in Kaliningrad]. But, of course, we believe that it is necessary to allow such exchanges in Russia," Moiseev told reporters.

The ministry's initiative comes after on January 25, a bill on the establishment of a "cryptoruble" as a legitimate digital financial asset that can be used as a means of payment was introduced in the Russian parliament's lower house.

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The text of the bill clarifies that this asset is called the "cryptoruble" and is "protected by cryptography methods to be used by participants in the distributed register of digital transactions."

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Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said in late December 2017 that it was inexpedient to create a national cryptocurrency in Russia. Some countries have already opened their own cryptocurrency markets, while in Russia, the regulation of the matter is still being discussed.

In October 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government, jointly with Russia's Central Bank, to draft amendments to Russian laws regulating the procedure of cryptocurrency placement by July 1, 2018.

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Some countries have already launched the research work on creation of their own national cryptocurrencies, which will give a new source of income for both the population and the state budget. Recently, South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said that Seoul was considering the introduction of taxes on cryptocurrency transactions, whereas Venezuela has already issued $5.9 billion in its own state cryptocurrency called Petro, which, according to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, is backed by the country's oil.

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