The chief cryptocurrency specialist for the Russian parliament, Andrei Lugovoi, may have ties to a Moscow-based cash over-the-counter (OTC) network, claims Dossier, a Russian news organization that released their study on Monday.
A firm run by Lugovoi’s wife, Ksenia, is said to control the office where an OTC named Bankoff is based, as per Dossier. According to Dossier’s study, Bankoff looks to be the most active trader on Binance’s peer-to-peer marketplace for transactions using the Russian Ruble, with the biggest daily trading volumes.
Users are able to buy and sell cryptocurrency via Bankoff without disclosing their identities thanks to the nearly nonexistent know-your-customer/anti-money laundering (KYC/AML) protocols. When compared to a centralized exchange, an OTC is a broker-dealer.
Going to the Federation Tower in the upscale Moscow City business sector and bringing cash to the office are requirements for concluding a deal with Bankoff. The office building is the property of a business called Bratsk Electric Networks, according to records from the Russian property registration. According to the Russian company ownership database, it is held by three people, with Ksenia Lugovaya holding a 22.5% shareholding.
Lugovoy began his political career in 2017, shortly after the U.K. authorities asked for his extradition to the country due to charges that he used radioactive isotope polonium-210 to kill former KGB agent and defector Alexander Litvinenko. The death of Litvinenko in 2006 was attributed to Russia, and Lugovoi—himself a former KGB officer—was found to have taken part in the poisoning, according to a 2016 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights.
Ironically the Russian central bank has been completely against the circulation of crypto in Russian territory. At first, Russia was totally opposed to the adoption and promotion of cryptocurrencies, but sanctions have changed that, as has the country’s desire to undermine the dominance of the American dollar in the world financial system.
A bill calling for the legalization of cryptocurrency mining and the sale of the created coins was also discussed in the Russian parliament. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin ordered the government to adopt a rule for virtual currencies by December 19, 2022, in September of this year. Additionally, Putin issued specific directives to the Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Federal Assembly, and other state institutions, urging them to adhere to the country’s adopted regulations for the issuance and usage of crypto and digital currencies.