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    Russian Finance Minister Hopes to Begin Regulating Cryptocurrencies in 2018

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    Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has said that the government may elaborate basic positions on regulating the issuing and circulation of cryptocurrencies and mining by the beginning of 2018.

    "I think before the end of the year we will be able to outline the basic regulatory positions and make a framework law," Siluanov told reporters on Wednesday, saying there is a risk that authorities will need more time to work on the law.

    Siluanov said that Russia's Central Bank, Ministry of Finances and Federal Financial Monitoring Service will all be involved in the process of preparing regulations on cryptocurrencies.

    The news comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting on the cryptocurrencies issues, saying that the use of virtual money poses serious risks to the government. The meeting was attended by Presidential Aide Andrei Belousov, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and  Head of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina.

    Speaking on the issue, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev said on Wednesday that the preparation of a law regulating the use of cryptocurrencies may be delayed due to its "complex" nature. He also said that so far the draft hasn't been signed into law.

    So far, some high-ranking officials have proposed the creation of Russia's own cryptocurrency in order to replace Bitcoin. However, the idea hasn't been welcomed by the Central Bank yet, as it sees risks in the use of cryptocurrencies and is against putting them on a par with foreign currencies.

    Digital currencies, also known as cryptocurrencies, have no material form and global currency regulation does not currently apply to them. An unlimited number of anonymous sources can issue and use such currencies. Central banks worldwide have treated the phenomenon with caution, although some have started exploring the possibilities it offers and even developing their own cryptocurrency.

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