Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said his department will regulate the use of cryptocurrencies in the country by the end of 2017.
Siluanov offered insight into the government's plans to oversee Russia's domestic cryptocurrency market during an appearance at the Moscow Financial Forum last Friday. Echoing previous statements by members of the Russian government, Siluanov said banning cryptocurrencies does not make sense and that the ministry will likely treat digital monies similarly to securities, Reuters reports.
According to Wordnews, Siluanov said:
"The state certainly understands that cryptocurrencies are a reality, there is no point in prohibiting them. It is possible to regulate them, so the Finance Ministry will draw up a bill by the end of the year."
His comments add to those coming from other quarters of the Russian government, offering yet another window into what could be a completed policy move by the end of the year
Earlier this month, State Duma financial markets committee head Anatoly Aksakov said he would be forming a working group to determine how best to create legislation regulating cryptocurrencies. He, too, indicated a bill will be passed before the end of the year.
Russia's central bank also declared it was working on a regulation for digital currencies earlier this year.
While the government would be regulating them, cryptocurrencies are still risky, Siluanov said. There is an immense potential for fraud due to the nature of trading cryptocurrencies. He referred to the technology as being insecure.
Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin agreed, calling cryptocurrencies "volatile" and saying financial institutions may find it difficult to conduct transactions with them. Digital currencies' ability to jump or drop in value quickly in particular is of concern.
According to Lenta.ru, he told a Russian news network that:
"We see that the volatility that exists here is tens of percent in one direction, tens of percent in the other direction, which in fact is bad about this instrument."
Regulating the market would prevent those rapid shifts, ensuring more security for those who trade in these currencies, he said.
Some statements in this article have been translated from Russian.
Anton Siluanov image via ID1974/Shutterstock