The first deputy governor of Russia's central bank, Sergei Shvetsov, has said that his institution will support efforts to block access to external websites selling cryptocurrencies in the country.
Speaking at a conference on Tuesday, Reuters reports that Shvetsov cited the "unreasonably high risks" involved in cryptocurrency investment as a reason for the proposed measure, adding: "We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors)."
As such, the Bank of Russia will be working alongside the judiciary to ensure the closure of websites offering these services – a crackdown that he indicated will extend to "all cryptocurrency derivatives."
Shvetsov further added that, with bitcoin being an asset that can generate high returns very quickly, it shows signs of being a pyramid scheme.
The move to block access to cryptocurrency trading websites follows a number of warnings from Russian authorities in the past few months.
Alexey Moiseev, the country's deputy finance minister, said in September that he expects upcoming legislation to feature a flat-out ban on payments made in cryptocurrency. Earlier the same month, deputy governor of the Bank of Russia Dmitry Skobelkin told Bloomberg: "China doesn't recognize cryptocurrency as payment and forbids ICOs. Our views are absolutely similar."
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