Authorities in Russia are planning to track transactions involving the exchange of bitcoin for rubles, according to a report from the local news agency Regnum.
Per the report, the country’s deputy head of Moscow’s financial monitoring service Rosfinmonitoring, Herman Neglyad, announced the plan during a governmental meeting.
According to a translated version of the Regnum report, Neglyad said that financial institutions in the country like banks have already begun to report transactions involving the exchange of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin for fiat currencies. Per the report, he said that “banks have already begun to pay attention to exchange operations, that is, when they see that an operation has come after the exchange of virtual assets for hard currency, they have already begun to evaluate them and actually inform us about these operations.”
The government official also noted that the agency was collaborating with the country’s central bank in creating a code that would allow these financial institutions to differentiate between legal and illegal transactions. This, he believes, would help the agencies and the banks to easily identify transactions that might be suspicious.
In a separate interview with another local media agency, TASS, Neglyad hinted that this decision was being made because bitcoin was being used to finance terrorism and other illegal activities in the country. He added that the agency had worked with other countries' financial surveillance agencies to gather the data used in arriving at that conclusion.