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Russia backpedals on crypto legalization amid Hydra darknet shutting down

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Russia, Ukraine, war, and crypto – these words have collided with a force that few expected to see in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, a new shock development in Russia has thrown previous theories right out the window.

Russia in no rush for legalization

According to a report published by RT, a news outlet under the control of the Russian regime, the government is backing the central bank’s stance against the legalization of cryptocurrencies for payment.

The publication quoted Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who on 7 April, reportedly said,

“We are against the recognition of cryptocurrency as a means of payment or money.”

However, there was no immediate ban on crypto mining, as the Prime Minister explained,

“We also think that in order to stimulate investment, primarily in fixed capital, we can discuss mining issues, which includes the creation of data centers and related infrastructure.”

Around the time this update emerged, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy condemned Russia, accusing its army of committing war crimes against civilians, including children. Zelenskyy also called on the United Nations to remove Russia from the Security Council and hold a special tribunal.

Mine over matter

AMBCrypto previously reported on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bullish attitude towards crypto mining, and his hopes that Russia would utilize what he called “competitive advantages” – in specific, extra electricity and trained experts. Adding to that, in mid-February, news regarding the submission of a crypto regulation draft law did cause excitement, especially since Ukraine had legalized crypto just days earlier.

But now, Russia is backpedaling and its once conflicting government and central bank – the former in favor of crypto while the latter was hesitant – are showing a united front.

A Herculean victory

On 5 April, Chainalysis announced that German authorities were shutting down Hydra, a dark net platform that enabled money laundering, and drug purchases, and catered to Russian-speaking countries. What’s more, the marketplace allegedly helped convert cryptocurrency into Russian rubles.

As millions in crypto donations poured into Ukraine to support its military efforts, crypto analysts and trackers are watching to see how Russian crypto users might adopt digital assets to evade sanctions.


Sahana is a full-time journalist at AMBCrypto. She has a Masters in Journalism and her areas of study include crypto-regulation, digital society, privacy, and intersectionality. Ask her about film photography and philately.
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