Russian officials are developing a cryptocurrency intended to help the country evade international financial sanctions, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has commissioned government agencies to work on a “cryptorouble,” the FT reported, citing Moscow officials.
The cryptocurrency would be another way to complete financial transactions in roubles, Russia’s currency, while evading sanctions that limit the country’s financing options.
Russia is still ways off from releasing the cryptorouble, FT reported. But a state-run cryptocurrency could hinder attempts by the United States to hinder Russia’s economy.
The U.S. has banned dozens of Russian government officials, agencies, businesses and Putin allies from using the country’s financial system or dollar. The U.S. began increasing economic pressure on Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
Shortly before leaving office, President Obama imposed further sanctions on officials, hackers and agencies involved in Russia’s interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Congress passed sweeping new economic sanctions on Russia earlier this year, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE signed into law.
Russia’s reported plan to create a cryptocurrency comes as U.S. regulators and lawmakers attempt to understand the booming financial technology.
Regulators have warned investors that digital currencies are subject to federal financial regulations and to tread carefully with their trades.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has warned investors that digital currencies’ volatility could add unexpected risk to trades and contracts. The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun cracking down on unregistered and fraudulent cryptocurrency sales, which in May they said qualified as securities.
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