Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Is Russia going to start the final global crackdown on crypto?

Is Russia going to start the final global crackdown on crypto?
Crypto is back in the news again, with the price of Bitcoin rising as high as 11,400 it’s now being discussed on a number of levels.  New service providers like Blackwatch Digital are stepping up and providing services such as secured and insured crypto, brining institutional liquidity into the Blockchain ecosystem.  While the fad came and went, serious coders have been building a high quality enterprise grade system that’s now being rolled out.
Russia’s Ministry of Internal Affairs is reportedly working toward implementing a new law that would allow law enforcement to seize Bitcoin and other digital assets, beginning in 2021, according to Russian news outlet RBC.  Specifically, the new law would allow police to seize computers, hard drives or mobile devices containing cryptocurrency wallet addresses from individuals suspected of a crime. From there, authorities could then search through the contents of the devices and see about accessing the wallets and the cryptocurrencies they might contain.

This is interesting, considering that some say that the Russian government uses a complete abuse of power when it comes to assets they want to seize, or powers they want to do.  You can read this post “Secret Life of a Foreign Agent” at to get an idea of graft, Russian style.  Could the Crypto law be one of the biggest re-thefts in Russian government history?  Interestingly, Russia has been a hotbed for Crypto.  There are thousands of Crypto millionaires, mostly around Moscow, that 10 years ago were living on coins.  Many of them now make traditional investments, some of them even in Pre IPO Unicorns.  But what’s interesting about this Crypto law is that it seems that the Russian government is going after tokens.  Why?  It’s clear that due to the Russian Disaspora, and their refusal to tax the oligarchs, there are less and less tax bases to live off.  State oil is the golden goose but as the Arabs have learned, you need a vibrant diverse economy, you can’t just live off the oil.  That’s why countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and others – have diverse programs encouraging foreign investment into their barren desert oil rich lands.  They are resource rich but culturally poor.  Russia has become the same.  Their spoils and resources are many but they are culturally poor.  Russia is not an innovation hub.  Consumer fraud is rampant.  The funeral industry is so corrupt, filmmakers were threatened when making a documentary about it.  Life in Russia is well, not like the 80s, it’s like the 1880s.  “Oligarchs” (read: Fake Tsars) are living in posh mansions in communities like Rublyovka; and meanwhile the average pensioner doesn’t have enough money for food and healthcare. 
Growing protests in the streets of Russia are growing in size and in power.  Previously they were small in numbers, but as the numbers grow – Russian officials are doing more to stop them.  Thousands of protestors have been arrested on fake charges, kept in jail for the ‘maximum’ 30 days in many cases, in order to frighten more people to protest. 
And it’s not just in Russia – there are mass protests going on all over the world, including Hong Kong, Lebanon, and sporadically in the European Union (France, yellow vests).  But what’s unique about Russia – they still are not part of the ‘one world system’ and so what happens in Russia is uniquely compelling.  Meaning that, to contrast it with the United States where there are ‘protests’ – in the US it has been found that many protestors are in fact ‘paid to protest’ employees of financier George Soros.  You can bet that protestors in Russia are not paid, and they are demonstrating at their own personal risk.  They can be arrested, put on a blacklist, injured, or worse.  Thugs likely hired by or working with the government will go into peaceful offices and literally beat and stomp on political protestors to the point complete humiliation. 
The dye is a common antiseptic in Russia and has been used in protests there and in Ukraine.  "It looks funny but it hurts like hell," Mr Navalny tweeted.It is not clear who carried out the attack, which happened near the offices of the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK) that he founded.  According to one report (in Russian) he was diagnosed with a chemical burn to the eye.
Could this Bitcoin move be an asset grab, as the government needs funding for the next wave of antidisestablishmentarianism?  Not only that, Russia is now filling a void left by US forces leaving Syria, or as we might say colloquially, trapped in between a rock and a hard place.  Russia has been supporting the Assad regime in Syria for a number of reasons, but now faces proxy enemy Turkey who is a close ally to Russia.  It seems they will soon learn what is the real cost of useless foreign wars in the middle east, a complex region with 1,000 year old blood feuds genetically passed down from generation to generation.  The conflict between Jews and Arabs goes back way before the United States even existed.  Many ask, why does the US get involved?  It’s certainly not about Oil, as there is plenty of Oil in the US and Canada to fuel the next generation of alternative fuel development.  We all know the answer to that question but it’s the topic for another article.  Some say that the US military is the first form of artificial intelligence:
If Russia is cracking down on Crypto including seizing assets you can bet this is part of a larger strategy.  And there are many external factors to consider, because Russia has been a unique pro-Crypto country, the government has even subsidized Bitcoin mines with cheap energy.  An FSB officer said “America had the internet – Crypto is ours (Russia).. “
Clearly, Russia will not make such a move without a clear calculated plan, as they are not desperate for money and are one of the only major superpowers without any external debt.  They have domestic problems but on a macro level they are not suffering.  They are not acting out of weakness.  
Would other countries follow the lead if this were to happen?  Would this be the beginning in a series of anti-Crypto laws in the last independent country in the world?  Only time will tell, but we should stay tuned to this developing scenario very closely, as it will have global impact.