Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov, in his speech at the New Horizons marathon, emphasized that cryptocurrency in Russia will be legalized “sooner or later”.
“I think so too. <...> The question is when this will happen, how it will happen and how it will be regulated. <...> Everyone tends to understand that this is the trend of the times and that sooner or later, in one form or another, it will be implemented,” he said, answering the question of whether cryptocurrency will be legalized.
Manturov noted that the Central Bank and the government are now “actively interested” in the issue.
In Russia, there are disagreements between the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank about the future of cryptocurrency. The Bank of Russia wants to completely ban it, and the Ministry of Finance wants to regulate its circulation and impose taxes.
So far, there is a ban in Russia only on paying for goods or services with cryptocurrency.
Terrorism and financing of foreign agents. Why is the Central Bank against cryptocurrencies?
In January, the Central Bank published the report “Cryptocurrencies: Trends, Risks, Measures”. In it, the Bank stated that cryptocurrencies, or “money proxies,” as the regulator calls them, “have the character of a financial pyramid.” In addition, the Central Bank warned that cryptocurrencies are being actively used “as part of illegal activities”.
“The proliferation of cryptocurrencies poses significant threats to the well-being of Russian citizens, the stability of the financial system, and the threats associated with servicing illegal activities with cryptocurrencies,” the Central Bank said.
The regulator proposed banning the issuance, circulation and exchange of cryptocurrencies on the territory of Russia. In February of this year, the Bank drafted a related law. provides a fine for individuals in the amount of 300-500 thousand rubles; for legal entities – from 700 thousand to 1 million rubles.
“We support the non-use of Russian financial infrastructure in transactions with cryptocurrencies, its implementation is quite possible,” said Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina.
Bloomberg learned in January from sources that it was the FSB that convinced Nabiullina to advocate a complete ban on cryptocurrency transactions in Russia. According to the interlocutors of the agency, the FSB is dissatisfied with the cryptocurrency, as Russians are increasingly using it to donate to “unwanted organizations” – agents of foreign media.
“Edit, don’t ban.” Position of the Ministry of Finance
Ivan Chebeskov, director of the ministry’s financial policy department, said in January 2022 that the cryptocurrency should be allowed to flourish. In his view, it is inappropriate to ban the high-tech industry and allow it to flourish in other states.
“I think it should not be banned, it should be regulated. The regulation will only provide transparency to protect citizens,” Chebeskov explained.
In the same January, the Ministry of Finance sent the government the concept of regulating cryptocurrencies without banning them. The ministry also confirmed its position, saying that the complete absence of regulation or banning of cryptocurrencies would lead to destabilization of the industry, an increase in the share of the informal economy and an increase in fraud cases, and that law enforcement would not be subject to criminal sanctions. It is able to respond effectively to crimes using cryptocurrencies. According to the Ministry of Finance, it is basically impossible to completely ban transactions related to the circulation of such a currency.
Instead, the Ministry of Finance suggested legalize mining, collect taxes from it, create a separate body to control crypto exchanges and test anyone who wants to buy cryptocurrency online for financial market knowledge. If the ideas of the Ministry of Finance are approved at the legislative level, the cryptocurrency in Russia can only be used as an investment tool to generate income from it through banks. At the same time, paying for any goods or services will still be prohibited.
position of power
The government has approved the Ministry of Finance concept for the regulation of cryptocurrencies. At the same time, the Council of Ministers instructed the Ministry of Finance to prepare and submit a joint draft law on this issue together with the Central Bank. Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank to reach “some sort of consensus”.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said in early April that cryptocurrency cannot be considered money.
“We are against the recognition of cryptocurrency as a means of payment or money. Here we stand in solidarity and share the stance of the Central Bank. We believe that this cannot be done,” he said.
However, the prime minister added that the development of mining in Russia “could be discussed” as it promotes “the creation of data centers and related infrastructure”.