Crimea Recognizes PutinCoin as a Currency

There’s always roomfor an exception in Russia, and PutinCoin is it.

Just one month afterwe reported on Russia’s clampdown on all Bitcoin-related activites, officialregulators deciding that all the deals that include the word ‘Bitcoin’ or anyother crypto-currency were to be considered defacto illegal transactions, an officially-endorsed ‘altcoin’ is inproduction, reports news agency RIA Novosti.

In an officialstatement from 27 January, Bank of Russia practically decreed that all transactions where digital currencies(or “virtual”, how disapproving countries prefer to call crypto-currencies inofficial documents) were used as medium of payment, or even simple acts offiat-to-coin exchange, could be considered money laundering or terrorism aid.

Now, however, in adelightful U-turn, the law of the land has bent to accommodate the needs of thenewly-augmented nation.

The first example setof coins, officially simply called “Crimea 2014”, produced to commemorateRussia’s annexation of Crimea, is set to appear on April 23. Each set willinclude 25 gold and silver plated coins, weigh one kilogram and be roughlypalm-sized.

One side of the coinwill display the Crimean peninsula, but the other will carry an engraving ofRussian President Vladimir Putin himself.

Putin told RIA, “We looked at it from a legal standpoint andwe haven't found anything criminal; it is not illegal”.

Putin was seeminglynot the force behind the technical details of PutinCoin, however, according toRIA. That stroke of genius belongs to Vladimir Vasyukhin, director of the ArtFaces design studio responsible for minting the coins. “We are confident that these unique products will be of interest tocollectors and connoisseurs of modern history; they will find a buyer,” hesaid.