Fraudsters in Russia rarely use cryptos for withdrawing stolen funds, Russian c-bank official says

Maria Nikolova

Artem Sychev says fraudsters in Russia use cash rather than cryptos to withdraw illicit proceeds.

Cryptocurrencies are not frequently used by scammers in Russia to withdraw illegally obtained funds, Artem Sychev, Deputy Director of the Information Security Department of the Central Bank of Russia told information agency TASS.

Rather, he said, fraudsters prefer to cash out stolen funds.

Mr Sychev noted that cryptocurrencies are used quite rarely in Russia. Now and then, cryptos are used to withdraw funds but this does not happen “en masse” given that fraudsters are finding it simpler to use cash.

The central bank has warned about the risks of cryptocurrencies numerous times. There is still no law regulating the use and trading in cryptos in Russia.

The public perception of cryptocurrencies may be defined as skeptical. Earlier this year, the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) published the results of a survey dedicated to cryptocurrencies. The survey, conducted among 1,600 respondents above 18 years of age, indicated that the hype around cryptos in Russia is subsiding.

More than half of the respondents (56%) claim have certain knowledge about Bitcoin but meager 9% of those surveyed say they have detailed knowledge of Bitcoin. Further 18% say they have heard the term “Bitcoin”.

The actual knowledge about Bitcoin is relatively poor. For example, among those who have heard of Bitcoin, 37% are confident that anyone can get Bitcoins, whereas 12% believe Bitcoins are banned in Russia. Another controversial finding is that 28% of the respondents believe it is harder to steal digital currencies when compared to typical currencies, whereas 29% insist that it is easier to steal digital currencies than “normal” currencies.

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