A Kazakhstan national was arrested in Russia Tuesday on suspicion of running a cryptocurrency pyramid scheme that collected undisclosed investments from hundreds of victims across the country.
Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOI) identified the man as being wanted by Interpol who was arrested on a Kazakhstan warrant and is accused of touting a bogus investment firm. No further details were disclosed about the case or the unnamed detainee.
This arrest is the latest in a series of Russia operations against cryptocurrency activities, including the taking down of several mining facilities. Back in 2018, Russian police shut down a makeshift crypto rig, arresting two individuals for turning an abandoned rubber factory into an illegal crypto mining farm.
Also around this time, a more interesting case saw Russian security authorities capturing some nuclear scientists who were found mining bitcoin using supercomputers at a top-secret Russian nuclear warhead facility in Sarov.
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Crypto regulations not a priority at the moment
Last week, state-run TASS news agency reported that the governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, Elvira Nabiullina is considering the launch of a gold-backed cryptocurrency for international settlements.
Although this seems like a positive development for the industry, similar initiatives were announced on multiple occasions over the past few years to no avail, which calls into question the clout that these orders truly hold within the Russian government.
In addition, while announcing the new project Nabiullina, reiterated the bank’s previous position regarding digital currencies, which has repeatedly spoken against the legalization of the virtual asset class. She previously told Russian business circles and policymakers that their legalization is actually a loss of control over the money flows from abroad.
Of note, it seems that crypto regulations might not be a priority at the moment as it was reported last week that the Prime Minister of Russia Dimitri Medvedev stated that cryptocurrencies have lost their popularity.