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Recent comments from a senior Russian official sparked reports this week that Moscow's premiere stock exchange is about to start trading bitcoin – but that's not exactly, the exchange's operator has said.

A representative for Moscow Exchange told CoinDesk that reports about the firm being on the cusp of launching cryptocurrency trading aren't the result of any immediate statement by the company or its executives. Rather, they were prompted by comments by Alexey Moiseev, Russia's deputy finance minister, who earlier this week opined that cryptocurrency trading in the country should be limited to certain investors who participate through regulated exchanges, later mentioning the Moscow Stock Exchange as an example.

Still, the exchange is open to the idea, telling CoinDesk that it is an area it's observing "extremely closely."

"While it is too early to confirm specific plans today, we are considering all options," a spokesperson said.

Notably, Moscow Exchange said it currently lacks a legal framework that would enable it to list products that may include cryptocurrencies, crypto assets, cryptocurrency ETFs and more.

The representative said:

"We are in principle ready to organize trading in any financial products, where we see that there is sufficient demand from the market and when the corresponding legal framework and investor protections are in place."

Still, Moiseev's comments suggest that trading participation limits could become a reality one day, suggesting that proposals are being discussed – though it's not clear when any rules might be developed, given continued work on past legislative initiatives related to cryptocurrency.

"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," Moiseev said in an interview with RSN.

Moscow Exchange has pursued blockchain-related initiatives in recent months, however. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the exchange operator has been developing projects related to proxy voting and corporate record-keeping.

Image via Shutterstock

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