Valentin Katasonov, a Russian economist and professor at the international finance chair at the Moscow State Institute for Foreign Relations, has claimed that Western intelligence services are behind cryptocurrencies.
Speaking to Russian TV channel Den he said:
“Private digital currencies is a 21st century phenomenon, a variety of private or alternative money. It should be noted that central banks have been jealously protecting their money issuance monopoly for the last hundred years, and indeed, their right to issue money is written down in constitutions and stipulated in specific laws. In Russia, for instance, it’s provided in clause 75 of the constitution and the federal law on the central bank.”
He went on to note that central banks had been successful in eliminating parallel currencies at first. However, once bitcoin and other ‘private digital currencies’ have emerged, the regulators changed their tactics.
“Initially, central banks called those currencies illegal, they called for their ban, but the thing is that it’s hard to fight them. Those are so called p2p networks, which are closed, and where participants interact horizontally without any vertical structures and supervision bodies. Later on, monetary authorities changed their rhetoric to say they can’t handle it so it’s better to legalize those bitcoins to get them out of that so-called darknet,” Mr. Katasonov said.
As for Russia, Mr. Katasonov noted that the law enforcement and financial regulators had been repeatedly stating they wouldn’t allow digital currencies to exist within the country. However, recently they changed their mind: for instance, the country’s deputy minister of finance claimed that cryptocurrencies should be legalized and controlled.
“I would also like to add that some countries are well on the way of legalizing bitcoins and other digital currencies. Japan seems to have legalized them a month ago or so. Some other countries like China offer a different scheme of creating their own digital currency. The People’s Bank of China says, we create our own digital currencies. I should also note that bitcoin, in my opinion, and with lots of detail omitted, is a project of some Western intelligence services. Of course, bitcoin networks are browsed. Decrypting a bitcoin transaction party isn’t that hard,” Mr. Katasonov stated.
He exemplified Silk Road to prove his point.
“American intelligence services have decrypted the whole thing. Though, it took them suspiciously long to find this darknet thing. In my opinion, they made some efficient moves to put the currency on the orbit. Now that it’s there, the American intelligence services have done their job. One may ask, why did they do that. Well, bitcoin is a perfect tool to finance terrorism and shadow businesses, yet it’s not a very good argument because cash is even more efficient for such operations. In my opinion digital currencies are a tool for disrupting traditional monetary systems,” Mr. Katasonov concluded.
This April it was announced that the Russian parliament was preparing a bill legalizing e-cash and establishing a legal foundation for regulated cryptoexchanges.