HomeRussia not banning crypto, considers regulating market

Russia not banning crypto, considers regulating market

Sanne Moonemans

A working group of the Russian parliament argues that there should be “mechanisms” to control crypto transactions.

Regulation instead of ban

According to Russian sources, a working group of the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, has expressed its support for regulating rather than banning bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies completely.

Russia’s minister of Finance, Anton Siluanov, is one of the biggest and most prominent supporters of cryptocurrencies in Russia. According to him, banning crypto would be the equivalent of banning the internet and would be “impossible”.

Ministry and Central Bank disagree

The announcement came amid ongoing discussions between the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) and the country's Ministry of Finance. They can't agree on how Russia should handle crypto and regulation in the future.

The article claims that about 50 experts participated in a panel session of the State Duma called “On the Questions of Cryptocurrency Regulation”. The panel concluded that "effective and transparent" regulation of digital assets was preferable to a complete ban, albeit with mechanisms to "monitor cryptocurrency transactions".

Who can hit the hardest?

As noted in the article, the main conclusion is the working group's support for the Treasury Department's approach to regulation, as opposed to the CBR pursuing even greater restrictions on crypto.

In January, the Russian Central Bank announced a proposal to ban crypto mining and promote the yet-to-be-developed CBDC, a Russian digital currency. The Treasury Department was quick to respond with its own proposition, saying digital assets should be treated in the same way as fiat currencies in terms of regulation.

Little to no freedom

Now it is quite obvious that investors are behind the Ministry of Finance, but any regulations can also be very stifling.

In order to be allowed to invest in crypto, consumers must pass a test and of course pass it well. This shows that they have sufficient knowledge of crypto. In addition, they are not allowed to invest more than 600,000 rubles per year in crypto, which amounts to 5,700 euros. Should this actually be implemented, then you know for sure that the coming bull run will not come from Russia, especially if the ruble continues to fall.

What does Putin want?

The ministry's bill suggests giving crypto investors at least some freedom. In fact, the central bank once again proposed to declare cryptocurrencies in any form illegal and to issue fines to anyone who does anything with them.

Maria Stankevich of crypto exchange EXMO provides some context: “Lately, the crypto regulation situation in Russia is reminiscent of a circus. First the central bank wants to ban everything, then President Vladimir Putin says he wants something different and a good bill comes out, prepared by the Ministry of Finance.”

KYC policy and registration

In addition to this limitation, the Russian Ministry of Finance continues to borrow policies from other countries, as many other nations are miles ahead in terms or regulations and Russia cannot stay behind. For example, all crypto companies must have a strict KYC (Know Your Customer) policy, and companies must obtain a licence and be included in a crypto registry. It is not yet clear which government body will handle this.

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