Russia's central bank has issued a new statement on the risks of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
The Bank of Russia, according to a notice published yesterday, appears to be responding to the rising media profile of both ICOs – through which blockchain-based cryptographic tokens are sold in a crowdsale – as well as cryptocurrencies themselves within Russia. Indeed, even an aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin has said he is moving to hold an ICO of his own.
The statement notes the "high risks" of exchanging cryptocurrencies, as well as participation in ICOs (described as "a form of attracting citizens' investments").
The central bank went on to say that, at this stage, it won't greenlight any cryptocurrency trading on any official exchanges, nor would it approve the use of the tech for infrastructure purposes. At the same time, the Bank of Russia doesn't serve as a financial regulator in Russia; that role falls to the State Duma and the Ministry of Finance.
The Bank of Russia said (in a translated statement):
The statements come on the heels of China's move to ban ICOs and more tightly control the ecosystem of exchanges offering access to those token sales. As CoinDesk previously reported, China-based ICOINFO froze its platform last week ahead of the news, and is scheduled to begin returning money to users this weekend.
Bank of Russia image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.