Two citizens from Russia are facing prosecution for their alleged role in infecting state-controlled computers with a program that would mine cryptocurrency.
The two suspects, which went unnamed in the report by local news outlet Tass, allegedly infected computers at state organizations with a program that would mine cryptocurrency via a web browser.
Russia has seen a fair share of cases involving unwarranted cryptocurrency mining.
Nikolay Murashov, Deputy Director of the National Coordination Center for Computer Incidents, said at a press conference on Monday,
In Russia, there have been two cases recently when people were brought to criminal responsibility for getting access to computers [of state organizations] and using them to mine cryptocurrencies.
Up to 80% of the computer’s free power can be used to generate virtual coins, and a legitimate user may not even know about it.
Crypto Remains Unregulated in Russia
Many Russian crypto entrepreneurs would much rather see a clear set of rules than the regulatory limbo in which the industry operates today.
Yegor Bugayenko, founder and CEO of blockchain startup Zerocracy and creator of the cryptocurency Zold, told Cointelegraph:
“There is no official status of Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) in Russia at the moment. This literally means that the government has nothing against anyone selling, buying, or exchanging any crypto money. However, the market definitely needs certain regulations in order to protect honest buyers and sellers of crypto assets. […] In my opinion, prohibition won’t help, just like it has never helped to minimize alcohol usage and doesn’t help now with drugs. There have to be other mechanisms, which are based on education.”
Alexey Ermakov, CEO and founder of the mobile finance app Aximetria, said:
“Despite the cryptocurrencies’ obvious and massive presence in lives of Russian people — crypto being widely used and with top government officials and bankers invested in it — no one officially admits it. I believe that crypto cannot be banned. People can only be threatened into not using it, and depending on the degree of people’s fear the technology will either develop or stagnate here, while the rest of the world will be using it. Yet, over time everything will fall into place.”
George Bryanov, expert at the faculty of finance and banking at The Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, commented:
“For me it is obvious that central bank digital currencies are the future of central banks and national economies, and research activities of central banks of USA, China, Russia, UK, and many other countries prove their great interest in it. Central banks will continue to tighten the regulation of cryptocurrencies in order to test and scale regulatory instruments before adopting national cryptocurrencies on a mass scale. And for sure it will be done for the good: to enforce AML/CFT regulations and protect citizens from dark markets and scum investment schemes — at least, that’s what they’ll say in the news.”