Bitcoin has been encountering a series of unfortunate events. It hit the Great Wall of China in December and now Russia has declared it and other cryptocurrencies as unlawful.
While the world has been busy criticizing Russia for the way it is hosting the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, its government is busy cracking down on virtual currencies that allegedly can be used for criminal activities such as money laundering and terrorism.
"Systems for anonymous payments and cyber currencies that have gained considerable circulation - including the most well-known, Bitcoin - are money substitutes and cannot be used by individuals or legal entities," a statement by the Russian Prosecutor General's Office read.
The Russian government warned that Bitcoin should not be treated as an alternative currency of the Rouble. It warned the public of Bitcoin's very unstable value. The country is pushing for tighter regulations so no one will use pseudo currencies.
"Citizens and legal entities risk being drawn - even unintentionally - into illegal activity, including laundering of money obtained through crime, as well as financing terrorism," Russia's Central Bank said in a statement.
Bitcoin has been taking a lot of hits like boxing legend Manny Pacquiao. It sustained an uppercut in November when its value dropped from $1,200 to as low as $600 before plateauing at $800. The following month, China's Central Bank imposed restrictions that led to the banning of the yuan deposits to the trading platform BTC China.
The virtual currency was still seeing stars and birds when Alibaba banned its use on its website. It also sustained a blackeye when Apple kicked out Blockchain, a popular wallet app for Bitcoin, out of its App Store.
Despite its misfortunes, there are Bitcoin believers willing to risk their money. For example, in December, Andreessen Horowitz invested $20 million in Coinbase that provides a wallet helping owners manage their virtual currency. Likewise, the richest man in Asia Li Ka-shing injected $31 million to the startup BitPay.
There are theories that central banks around the world are doing what they can to discredit Bitcoin because of its potential to be a gold standard in the near future. The big difference between gold and bitcoin, however, is that the value of the latter is regulated by users and not by the government.