Like many governments, Russian financial regulators have had a complicated relationship with cryptocurrencies. Back in October, Russian leader Vladimir Putin praised cryptocurrencies as a possible tool to help dismantle the global dollar-based financial system.
That didn’t stop Russia from barring the use of cryptocurrencies for payment. And now the country’s financial regulators are pushing for a China-style ban on crypto mining, something that could disrupt the international network supporting popular cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum. In a report published Thursday, the Russian Central Bank called for a full ban on crypto. Its findings were presented during an online press conference led by Elizaveta Danilova, the director of the Bank of Russia’s Financial Stability Department.
The report claimed cryptocurrencies have become widely used in illegal activities like fraud (in the west, they have become closely associated with ransomware attacks like the one that shut down the Colonial Pipeline and JBS). Because of this, Russia needs new laws that would effectively ban any crypto-related activities in the country. This ban should apply to exchanges, over-the-counter trading and peer-to-peer trading, the report said.
The bank, therefore, suggests Russia needs new laws and regulations that effectively ban any crypto-related activities in the country. In particular, cryptocurrency issuance and organization of its circulation in Russia must be banned. The ban should apply to exchanges, over-the-counter trading desks and peer-to-peer platforms. Russian institutional investors should not be allowed to invest in crypto assets and no Russian financial organizations or infrastructure should be used for cryptocurrency transactions. And the existing ban on crypto payments should be more aggressively enforced…read more.