Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev has said it is “hard to argue cryptocurrency is not a pyramid scheme” amid sudden plans to ban sales.
Speaking in an interview on local television channel Rossiya 24, Moiseev said the government wanted only to allow “those who are qualified investors” and who have a “reason” for buying cryptoassets to have the option to do so.
“I said qualified investors and not private ones,” he reiterated about the alleged “pyramid scheme.”
“For ordinary people, there’s no way because these are very dangerous investments that could lead to loss of money.”
His statements come just weeks after the announcement of a state-sponsored Bitcoin mining company, which aims to raise $100 mln to take market share away from China.
The new plans for regulation of cryptocurrency would mean the Moscow Stock Exchange would constitute the sole platform through which investors could gain exposure to Bitcoin and others.
Previous comments from regulators suggested that Russia’s so-called BitRuble, currently under development by the central bank, would enjoy considerably more market freedom than ‘traditional’ cryptocurrencies.
“We’re not offering to call [cryptocurrency] currency, or regulate it like currency,” Moiseev added.
The brief nature of the news did not include how authorities plan to prevent citizens purchasing cryptocurrencies. Future steps could potentially include blocking of exchange websites in line with similar habits by regulators in previous years.