Crypto News | Crypto Payments in Russia Soon Legal?

2018 is really shaping up to be the year of regulation for cryptocurrencies. In Russian parliament, a new bill has been introduced, defining broad terms such as “digital rights” and “digital money”. Apparently, if the bill gets signed into law, crypto payments in Russia are about to become legal. Although they are not illegal in most countries, this would be a rare case where a country’s law creates a basis and a framework for financial transactions in the digital economy. Digital money, as the bill refers broadly to cryptocurrencies, would become legal means of payment. Apart from crypto payments in Russia, the law cleans up the confusion surrounding several other areas when it comes to digital assets – inheritance rights, bankruptcy claims, and taxation. This could reveal the lawmakers’ motivation behind the move, as well as the fact that digital assets will be used for payments only on terms which are determined by the law. If the parliament supports the bill, it could effectively become law already in early May. Although many are optimistic about cryptos being accepted, it could seem that the move is only a way for the government to introduce regulation and oversight, and potentially the legal framework necessary to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Speaking of Russia, a Russian-Ukrainian cybercrime gang (apparently that is a thing now) has been arrested in Spain. The group has allegedly stolen more than $1.24 billion from financial institutions all over the world. They used Bitcoin to launder the stolen funds, according to an Associated Press report. The group, led by a Ukrainian national known only as Denis K., consists of three other people. They didn’t steal the funds overnight in a daring massive heist. Instead, it was a number of attack over a period of five years, involving more than a hundred financial institutions. They did it by sending phishing emails to bank officials. The emails contained malicious attachments which would take control over affected hardware. After compromising ATMs, for example, the perpetrators would withdraw large sums, convert them to Bitcoin, and then buy various assets, for example real estate and vehicles in Spain.

Another similar arrest took place in February, when Sergey Medvedev, a Russian citizen, was arrested by Thai police as a prominent member of an international cybercrime organization. He was the administrator of Infraud, a major Dark Web site for selling stolen identities, government documents and credit cards. When Medvedev was arrested, he was in possession of 100,000 BTC.

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Author: Max Rothstein

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