Russia's Minister of Finance Suggests Letting Banks Sell Crypto: Report

Cryptocurrencies should be treated like investments in gold and other assets, the minister wrote in a letter to the prime minister.

AccessTimeIconFeb 3, 2022 at 10:59 a.m. UTC
Updated Feb 9, 2022 at 8:15 p.m. UTC

Anna Baydakova is an investigative reporter with a special focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. Anna owns BTC.

Russian Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov reiterated the ministry's stance on regulating rather than banning crypto, and suggested legalizing cryptocurrency trading through banks, Russian newspaper Kommersant said, citing a letter Siluanov sent to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday.

In contrast to the Bank of Russia, which advocates a ban on crypto, Siluanov suggests banks can be authorized to provide cryptocurrency exchange services and licensing rules will be introduced for other types of businesses as well. For companies that aren't licensed, providing crypto services would be treated as a criminal offense. Both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia agree that cryptocurrencies cannot be legal tender in Russia.

The Bank of Russia and Rosfinmonitoring, Russia's anti-money laundering (AML) agency, must have access to the information about cryptocurrency-related transactions, and the Transparent Blockchain transaction tracking system must be used, Siluanov said.

Such an approach would put cryptocurrencies on an equal footing with precious-metal accounts in banks and other regulated investment tools, with obligatory know-your-customer and AML checks for buyers, taxation and regulated fiat on-ramps, Kommersant wrote.

According to Siluanov, Russians own about 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) worth of crypto, which constitutes a small percentage of the population's total savings. These funds will need to be legalized after the proposed new regulations come into force, Kommerstant wrote. Mining and foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms will also need to be licensed, which will bring additional 180 billion rubles of taxes ($2.3 billion), the regulator said.

Several bodies of the Russian government earlier agreed on a roadmap for cryptocurrency regulation, which must be created by the end of this year. The move was prompted by the Bank of Russia, which published an analytical report earlier in January, calling for a full ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining in the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the government and the Bank of Russia to find a common ground on cryptocurrency regulation, mentioning that Russia has advantages on the global mining market.

DISCLOSURE

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.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Anna Baydakova is an investigative reporter with a special focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. Anna owns BTC.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Anna Baydakova is an investigative reporter with a special focus on Eastern Europe and Russia. Anna owns BTC.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
3 Things Blockchain Projects Can Do to Grow Merchant Acceptance
CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Exploring a Bitcoin Mining Container

A walkthrough of an industrial, portable BTC mining rig.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
From BTD to FUD to WAGMI: Understanding Crypto Acronyms

If you follow crypto on Twitter, Discord or another platform, you may see people saying that they have “FOMO” or that the market is driven by “FUD.” Here’s what you need to know to decode the conversation.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinFLEX Says Roger Ver Owes It $47M USDC as Spat Turns Public

The crypto exchange is launching a recovery token because of debt owed by a high-net-worth customer.

CoinDesk - Unknown