Russian authorities have warned Bitcoin could be used for money laundering or financing terrorism, saying it as a parallel currency is illegal.
Reuters reports the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office as saying: “Systems for anonymous payments and cyber currencies that have gained considerable circulation – including the most well-known, Bitcoin – are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals or legal entities.”
It said Russian law denotes the rouble as the only official currency in the country, thus using Bitcoin or any other substitute is illegal.
Germany became the first country to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in August last year.
Bitcoin has proven controversial, with HumanIPO reporting last month two prominent traders have been arrested in the United States (US) under charges of money laundering, marking a crackdown on the virtual currency while discussions are underway on how it can be regulated.
Last year the dark web’s market for drugs and other illegal wares was shut down and its founder Ross William Ulbricht, known also as Dread Pirate Roberts, arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with his Bitcoin stock seized.
The valuation of the virtual currency has also been turbulent.