Russian Central Bank maintains cryptocurrencies are a "crime"

Even though Russia recently passed the first major cryptocurrency laws, the central bank continues to treat the industry as a criminal area.

Sergei Swiecov, the first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, expressed the bank's negative stance on crypto investments. He compared cryptocurrencies to pyramid schemes and roulette games. The official made comments on the crypto industry during a live stream on YouTube on July 28 regarding a new draft Russian law on retail investor categories.

During the live session, Swietecow emphasized that the Bank of Russia does not consider cryptocurrency purchases as an investment.

"The Bank of Russia, as a regulator, holds the position that crypto shopping is not an investment. It is more like a pyramid scheme or a roulette game and does not apply to the financial market. Neither the government nor financial intermediaries should encourage citizens to acquire cryptocurrencies."

Comparing cryptocurrencies with "money substitutes," Shvetsov argued that no central bank around the world supports such things. "They are prohibited by the Russian Constitution and are subject to criminal liability," Svetszov continued.

The executive branch added that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) are often used for illegal activities such as money laundering and therefore should not be backed by a bank. The clerk said:

"Cryptocurrencies are also used to circumvent anti-money laundering laws. We therefore absolutely do not support citizen investment in this criminal sector."