The Russian Government, RT (Russia Today) and Bitcoins

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Max Keiser on the Keiser Report

RT (Formerly Russia Today) is a cable and satellite TV network funded by the Russian State. In the United Kingdom it has repeatedly fallen foul of the state broadcasting regulator OFCOM. The issues relate to repeated violations of principles relating to impartiality. RT states that the service offers a Russian perspective on world events.

A well known show on the RT channel is Max Keisers – The Keiser report. Max Keiser is one of the biggest proponents of Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies on UK television. It is quite clear that the Russian perspective is that people of the world should be using Bitcoins. You would think that therefore the Russian government would have a warm and accepting attitude towards bitcoin trading in its own territories.

However, Russian attitudes towards bitcoins as an alternative to its own particular brand of fiat currency is souring as the Russian economy continues to struggle.

The Russian rouble has already lost over 40% of it’s value against the dollar in the last year alone. This would appear to be a direct result of western action to destabilise its currency after relations hit a recent low after the conflict in Ukraine.

Gulf states have continued to overproduce oil possibly in an attempt to undermine the Russian economy possibly in an attempt to prevent the United States developing its own energy infrastructure and becoming an energy exporter. Regardless of the motivation for these actions the effect on the Russian economy is very real.

Sanctions have initially targeted President Putins inner circle and a range of russian oligarchs and billionaires. Recently efforts have been stepped up and attempts are being made to lock Russian firms out of international markets through a range of sanctions covering everything from banking and finance to food markets.

Russia now seems to turning increasingly anti-bitcoin as it seeks to bring in legislation to prevent legitimate bitcoin businesses within the Russian Federation.

“People can play with their chips, and they can call them money, but they can’t use these surrogate currencies as tender,” Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev told journalists in Moscow.

Currently only two countries have explicitly banned bitcoins – Equador (who are working on their own version) and Bolivia. Will Russia become the third state to do so? In the meatime – the very countries who Russias pro bitcoin propaganda is aimed at seem to be taking a much more laid back attitude with a United States congressman Steve Stockman  proposed a new bill to the Congress called the “Cryptocurrency Protocol Protection and Moratorium Act,” short named CryptPMA. The bill calls for a five-year moratorium on regulation targeting cryptocurrencies in the United States.

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