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Putin is sounding the alarm over cryptocurrencies

vladamir putin sunglassesREUTERS/Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is sounding the alarm over cryptocurrencies, signaling the country might soon crack down on the exploding crypto-market. 

The Financial Times on Tuesday reported that Putin said cryptocurrencies like bitcoin pose “serious risks” and allow for people to “launder criminally obtained money, evade taxes and even finance terrorism, as well as, of course, perpetuating fraudulent schemes that obviously may affect ordinary citizens.”

The market capitalization for digital coins has exploded this year by more than 700% to $ 150 billion. The growth of the cryptocurrency market has been fueled in part by initial coin offerings, a red-hot cryptocurrency-based fundraising method. Many countries, including China and South Korea, have cracked down on ICOs because of the threat they pose to retail investors. 

Whereas China and South Korea deemed ICOs illegal, Putin appears to be suggesting a more moderate crack down. 

“We need to use the advantages that come with any technological solutions in banking. It’s important not to set up superfluous barriers, naturally, but to create the essential conditions for the further development and perfection of the national financial system,” he said, according to the FT’s report.

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