Russian Regulator: Bitcoin Should Be Limited to 'Qualified Investors'

A new development in Russia hints at what a changing regulatory environment could bring for bitcoin users.

AccessTimeIconAug 29, 2017 at 12:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:52 a.m. UTC
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.
Consensus 2023 Logo
Join the most important conversation in crypto and Web3 taking place in Austin, Texas, April 26-28.

Russia's deputy finance minister, Alexei Moiseev, has spoken out on how he believes cryptocurrencies should be regulated in the country.

According to reports issued by RT yesterday, Moiseev suggested in a televised interview that bitcoin should not be classified as a currency, but rather as a property or asset.

Moiseev further stated that bitcoin was a high risk "financial pyramid" and that, in order to protect consumers, bitcoin exchange should be performed only by "qualified investors" on the Moscow Stock Exchange. As such, "ordinary people" would be prohibited from buying and selling the cryptocurrency.

"We suggest not to call it currencies, do not regulate it as currencies, regulate how ... other property, classify it as a financial asset and allow only classified investors to buy and sell them on the exchange," Moiseev stated according to RSN.

On the stock exchange, bitcoin would be subject to "Rosfinmonitoring" – a decree issued by President Vladimir Putin in order to collect and analysis financial transactions for protection against fraud.

Moiseyev indicated the proposal is currently being discussed with the Moscow Stock Exchange and the Bank of Russia, the country's central bank, and that it could soon be passed onto government.

"I hope that we will soon submit this concept to the government, and in case of support we will write a draft of normative acts," he said.

Notably, Moiseyev's statements have provoked commentary from Pavel Durov, the founder of the Telegram Messenger app and VKontakte, a popular social media site.

As reported by Sputniknews, Durov wrote on his VKontakte page that, with the arrival of bitcoin:

"For the first time in 70 years, the global financial system has a chance to escape from the hegemony of the U.S."

Yet, rather than allowing cryptocurrencies the chance to replace the dollar, "the Russian government is voicing ideas to ban and restrict [use of cryptocurrencies]," he said.

It seems this charge will only apply to civilians, though, and only if Moiseev's comments are adopted into financial regulations.

As such, Moiseev's remarks build on what has generally been the strict approach to cryptocurrency regulation favored by the Ministry of Finance, the country's top financial regulator. In contrast, the Bank of Russia has generally been more supportive of the technology, though it remains to be seen which side will win out.

The statements in this article have been translated from Russian.

Alexei Moiseev image via


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.