Russian Minister of Finance Suggests Local Banks Should Be Able To Sell Crypto

by Ilan Hazan
7 ways to make with crypto

Russian Minister of Finance Suggests Local Banks Should Be Able To Sell Crypto

Russia’s Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov has suggested local banks should be able to sell cryptocurrencies at a time in which the country’s central bank is pushing to ban cryptoassets and the ministry is opting for regulation.

Siluanov’s suggestion came in a letter sent to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, reported on by Russian newspaper Kommersant and first spotted by CoinDesk. In the letter, Siluanov suggested banks can be authorized to provide cryptocurrency exchange services, with licensing rules being introduced for other types of businesses.

Companies that would fail to acquire licenses could not offer cryptocurrency-related services in the country. The Ministry of Finance agreed with the Bank of Russia that cryptocurrencies cannot be legal tender in Russia.

Siluanov added the central bank and Russia’s anti-money laundering agency Rosfinmonitoring should have access to information on cryptocurrency-related transactions through the use of a transaction tracking system. In Russia, precious metal accounts in banks and other regulated investment tools are subject to similar rules.

In the letter, Siluanov detailed Russians own around 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) worth of cryptocurrency. The estimate is much smaller than one recently advanced by Bloomberg, which calculated 16.5 trillion rubles (around $214 billion) based on the IP addresses of crypto exchange users and “other information.”

Either way, these funds would need to be legalized if the proposed new regulations come into force. Cryptocurrency mining and trading on foreign platforms would also need to be licensed, which would be expected to bring in an additional 180 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) of taxes.

The letter came shortly after Russian  President Vladimir Putin halted the Bank of Russia’s recent call to ban cryptocurrency in the country, asking officials in a video conference to hold talks on cryptocurrencies.

In the conference, Putin acknowledged there are “certain risks, first and foremost to citizens of the country, given significant volatility,” but directed his agencies not to neglect the advantages Russia has in the area.

Data from a Singapore-based payment gateway, tripleA, shows more than 17 million Russians are cryptocurrency owners, with 60% of local cryptocurrency investors being aged between 25 and 44. A representative of Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry, Chernyshenko has said the government’s estimate is in line with tripleA’s figure.

The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.

Featured image via Pixabay

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