Russia's central bank will meet with representatives from the country's financial markets to discuss bitcoin regulation next week, a local news source claims.
Izvestia, a prominent Moscow-based news outlet, says it is likely that the bank will be supportive of cryptocurrencies.
A loosely translated version of the article, which cited a source close to the central bank, reads:
"The central bank's stance [on cryptocurrencies] has changed over the last year. The source admitted that the central Bank may authorise and regulate bitcoin – in particular, carrying out transfers and payments to individuals and interconnect them."
In conversation with CoinDesk, a spokesperson from the Cryptocurrency Foundation Russia (CCFR) expressed disappointment at the news. The group had previously approached various authorities to discuss regulation, they said, however these attempts proved unfruitful.
Questioning the bank's sudden interest in digital currencies, the spokesperson voiced a desire to see an open dialogue with those knowledgeable about financial freedom and civil rights, but again, seemed doubtful this would happen. "It is unlikely that these people will be heard by officials and their recommendations will be implemented," they said.
"The true supporters of decentralisation will have to forget about their dreams. Russia's regulation will not comply with the ideals of Satoshi Nakamoto."
CoinDesk contacted Russia's central bank for comment but no reply had been received at the time of press.
Bitcoin in Russia
The meeting follows on from statements by The Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Federation (MVD) concerning bitcoin regulation in February.
The domestic agency, responsible for establishing government policy and regulation, suggested it would defer the decision to the central bank prior to taking any policy action.
Earlier this year, Russia's media watchdog cut off access to a series of bitcoin-related websites, including Bitcoin.org, Bitcoin.it, BTCsec.com and bitcoin exchange Indacoin. Three .ru domains were also blacklisted.
Russia central bank image via Shutterstock