18:59 GMT17 February 2020
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    Russia may introduce criminal responsibility for using bitcoins, the Investigative Committee head said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Releasing or trading in the cybercurrency bitcoins may become a crime in Russia, the head of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, said Thursday.

    “Criminal responsibility for the release of or trading in monetary surrogates, which are not considered under the law as a method of payment, has been directed to the interested bodies in cooperation with the Investigative Committee,” Bastrykin said.

    Bitcoin, a popular virtual web-based currency introduced in 2009, can be used to purchase goods and services from online retailers.

    Cryptocurrencies have no material form and global currency regulation does not apply. An unlimited number of anonymous sources could issue and use the currency.

    Russian law bans the issue of any currency not approved by the Central Bank of Russia.

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    Tags:
    Bitcoin, Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, Russia
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