A lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia is speaking out against bitcoin and other digital currencies on the grounds the technology is part of a US plot to undermine the country’s efforts internationally.
The comments, made by MP Andrei Svintsov, came during remarks addressing the ongoing debate in Russia over whether bitcoin and digital currencies should be banned as part of a broader effort to stop capital flight.
Nonetheless, Svintsov’s remarks count as some of the more extreme to emanate from the discussion. Svintsov told Russian broadcast news agency REGNUM:
"All these cryptocurrencies [were] created by US intelligence agencies just to finance terrorism and revolutions.”
Svintsov reportedly went on to explain how cryptocurrencies have started to become a payment method for consumer spending, and cited reports that terrorist organisations are seeking to use the technology for illicit means.
While pointed, the statements do not seem to represent the views on bitcoin from within the federal legislature. For example, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets has stated as recently as August that she opposes criminal penalties for bitcoin use.
Svintsov has also been associated with such movements as one that would find tobacco and alcohol products removed from the windows of retail outlets.
Russian Duma image via Shutterstock