Cyber Criminals Frustrated By Russian Crypto Currency Rules

Russian authorities introduced a new law regulating crypto currencies. This law may be connected with the Russian government’s desire to seek control over the Dark Web markets and its ransomware sector that became prolific over the past two years. 

As many of the cyber criminal economy operating from Russia, using crypto currency to transfer wealth this law will effect ransomware gangs in the region.

Recently Russian security services arrested members of the REvil group at the request of the US, and this had an effect on cyber criminals who had spent years viewing Russia as a place where they could victimise foreign targets without punishment. The  new laws may have effects on money launderers employed by criminal bands. 

One key recommendation of the Bank of Russia's is to ban local exchanges as just one means of promoting financial stability, national security and consumer protection.

The Bank of Russia's paper is not largely directed at cyber crime. Instead, it takes a realistic look at the potential dangers of crypto currency on an emerging nations' economies and energy security.  The Bank makes three major recommendations:

  • A complete ban on crypto currency mining in Russia.
  • Shutting down local crypto currency exchanges.
  • Additional penalties to existing laws barring the use of crypto currency to make direct purchases, although it would not prevent the purchase or ownership of crypto currencies from foreign exchanges.

The Bank fears that widespread investing in crypto currency would substantially reduce the national money supply, reducing local investment, and the volatility of the market could wipe out local wealth entirely. 

It also notes that Bitcoin mining presents a risk to its energy security, potentially requiring more electricity than the country is able to create. By establishing the cryto law the Russian government has built a legal base to take over ransomware criminal businesses.

According to research by Recorded Future there are 50 or more crypto-currency exchanges in Moscow City, a financial district in the capital, that in its assessment are engaged in illicit activity. Other exchanges in the district are not suspected of accepting cryptocurrencies linked to crime.

Al Jazeera:      SCMagazine:      Advintel:      NYTimes:  

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