September 24, 2023

Russian Regulators Find Common Ground – No Bitcoin for Payment


Even though there is quite a lot of uncertainty in Russia where cryptocurrencies are concerned and the authorities have not reached a full consensus about the future of cryptocurrencies, all government institutions are on the same side of the fence where bitcoin payments are concerned. According to representatives of Russian businesses, all other operations associated with digital assets are to be regulated and legalized. The Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Russia and the government are all trying to figure out how to regulate the crypto space in the country.

After a meeting devoted to digitalization concluded, Alexander Shokhin, the leader of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), stated that they will not use decentralized digital currencies as a mode of payment. The Bank of Russia had called for a wide-ranging ban on all crypto-related activities, including mining, exchange and their use in payment. Other institutions had been opposed to this hardline policy proposal, which included the finance ministry. Instead, it came up with its own vision regarding the treatment of cryptocurrencies. The federal government also sided with the treasury’s stance and adopted a proposal that favors regulation over prohibition.

Shokhin said that it was apparent that both sides had gotten a lot closer in their discussion. He said that if prohibition was being discussed, it was for banning the use of cryptocurrencies to make payments, while the other areas are also subject to regulation. According to the regulatory concept that has been approved by the government, coins can be purchased, sold and exchanged. The president of Nornickel and co-chairman of the Coordinating Council of RSPP, Vladimir Potanin noted that while the Russian regulatory bodies were still seeking agreement regarding the crypto infrastructure, they were in agreement about one thing; supporting the ban of using crypto as legal tender.

The billionaire went on to say that the business community had come to an understanding with the central bank, the government, and lawmakers that regulating cryptocurrencies is a lot more difficult and complicated than digital financial assets. The ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ Russian law does regulate a few aspects of the country’s crypto economy, like the issuance of crypto tokens. This had been put into effect last year in January, but there are a lot of questions that still remain unanswered. Now, a working group at the lower house of Russian Parliament, the State Duma, is coming up with legislation to fill the gaps.

It is expected that a new law will be introduced on February 18th that defines some comprehensive rules regarding the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia, which are based on the proposals of the Finance Ministry. Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the Financial Market Committee, had announced earlier this week that he already has a draft on his desk. He added that deputies were planning on adopting the said rules in the spring session of the Russian Parliament. It would help in eliminating the uncertainty that surrounds cryptocurrencies and their regulation and use in the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *