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Finance Minister Calls for Crypto Regulation Rather than Ban in Russia

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by Ibukun Ogundare · 3 min read
Finance Minister Calls for Crypto Regulation Rather than Ban in Russia
Photo: International Monetary Fund / Flickr

The Minister of Finance suggested that banks should be authorities to offer crypto exchange services.

Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov, a crypto bull, has emphasized the need to regulate crypto in Russia rather than banning digital assets. To widen crypto recognition in Russia, the minister suggests that banks should begin trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Siluanov made the crypto suggestion in a letter sent to price minister Mikhail Mishustin, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported.

Unlike the Bank of Russia, which calls for a full ban on crypto assets, the Minister of Finance opined that the government could legalize crypto trading via banks. The country’s central bank published a report on the risks associated with crypto. Titled “Cryptocurrencies: trends, risks, measures,” the report was presented by the director of the Bank of Russia’s Financial Stability Department, Elizaveta Danilova. The bank talked about crypto’s volatility and its wide use in fraudulent activities. Hence, Russia’s central bank called for laws and regulations that will ban crypto and all crypto-related activities in the country.

Minster Finance Suggest Letting Banks in Russia Offer Crypto Services

In contrast, the Minister of Finance suggested that banks should be authorities to offer crypto exchange services. Also, he asked that the government provide licensing rules for other types of businesses. Companies with no license to crypto services will be charged with a criminal offense if they do not comply. Notably, both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia agree that crypto cannot be legal tender.

Suggesting further, Siluanov mentioned using the Transparent Blockchain transaction tracking system. Hence, both the central bank and Rosfinmonitoring must have access to information regarding crypto-related transactions. In the minister’s option, Russians’ crypto holdings will become legal after implementing proper regulation.

Russia conducted a study that revealed that traders residing in the country own over 16.5 trillion rubles worth of crypto. The total crypto holdings equal about $200 billion, and more than 17 million Russians own it. Although the Russian government has never officially accepted crypto, digital assets are becoming more popular among citizens.

Furthermore, the head of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sergey Katyrin, proposed that crypto mining should be moved out of the ‘gray zone.’ In a letter sent to the Minister of Finance, Katyrin asked that mining be equivalent to business. According to Katyrin, there is a need for a review of current legislations. Also, the executive asked that the government roll out new regulatory acts that will determine the legal status of mining. In addition, the letter says that a definite legal status till “make it possible to defuse tension on matters of illegal electricity use.”

Katyrin continued:

“It is reasonable to develop a clear-cut position by the Russian banking sector when servicing individuals, whose financial transaction can be viewed as transactions of money investing into/withdrawing from cryptocurrency.”

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