Use of cryptocurrencies is increasing in Russia, the head of the country’s financial watchdog has informed President Putin. The agency, Rosfinmonitoring, is following thousands of participants in digital asset transactions with a new blockchain analytics system, the official revealed.
Volume of Crypto Transactions in Russia Almost $13 Billion, Financial Authority Says
The turnover of crypto assets in Russia is growing, according to Yury Chikhanchin, director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation (Rosfinmonitoring), who reported to President Vladimir Putin about the agency’s current operations.
The watchdog is monitoring the activities of over 25,000 participants in crypto transactions, the executive revealed at a meeting with the head of state. The service has also identified around a dozen financial organizations that provide assistance to them.
Quoted by the business news portal RBC, Putin remarked that wherever money or new financial instruments appear, “swindlers” appear as well. Chikhanchin admitted that the use of cryptocurrency is increasing in Russia in the absence of comprehensive regulation.
“We believe that the cryptocurrency turnover today is more than 630,000 bitcoins,” he detailed without elaborating. At current rates, that amount of BTC nears $13 billion in fiat equivalent. According to an estimate quoted by the Bank of Russia in 2021, the annual volume of crypto transactions made by Russians at the time was around $5 billion.
Rosfinmonitoring has carried out about 120 crypto-related investigations and initiated over 60 criminal cases. Chikhanchin pointed out that this was possible thanks to the launch of Russia’s new ‘Transparent Blockchain’ platform.
“A year ago, the service could only track bitcoin, but using this system allows you to see the movements of more than 20 different crypto assets,” the official explained. The crypto analytics tool is currently undergoing tests at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Federal Security Service, and the Investigative Committee. Other countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States have shown interest in obtaining it.
Transparent Blockchain was employed in efforts to shut down the darknet market Hydra, as part of cooperation with law enforcement agencies and representatives of financial intelligence organizations of other nations.
The website was taken down in early April 2022, when German authorities seized its services in an operation conducted with U.S. support. An alleged administrator, Russian citizen Dmitry Pavlov, was arrested later that month.
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