Russian lawmakers will vote on a new bill to ban cryptocurrencies and digital tokens as a means of payment in the country.
According to a recent report by local media RIA Novosti, Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Financial Markets Committee, submitted the bill to the State Duma. If the bill is approved by the committee, members of the lower house are expected to vote on the legislation at first reading next week.
Mr. Aksakov told the publication that cryptocurrencies, in his view, cannot be equated with fiat money and cannot be legal tender. He added that the ruble is the only legal tender currency in the Russian Federation.
If a decision is made at the legislative level, the law will explicitly prohibit crypto payments inside the Russian Federation.
Until today, crypto in Russia existed in a legal gray area. Locals were allowed to buy and trade cryptocurrency, but businesses and exchanges were often under close surveillance by law enforcement. According to industry estimates, the annual volume of crypto transactions in the country is around $5 billion.
But in the face of tougher sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine, Russia is reportedly considering the idea of accepting Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as payment for its international trade.
Russia has previously floated the idea of allowing the use of cryptocurrency as payment for its oil and gas sold to “friendly countries”. At the time, the head of the energy committee, Pavel Zavalny, said that China and Turkey could start paying for energy in Russian rubles, Chinese yuan, Turkish lira – or even Bitcoin.
According to a report by Russian state news agency TASS, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said: “The question is when will it happen, how will it happen and how will it be. regulated. Now the Central Bank and the government are actively engaged in it.
Just days before Russia invaded Ukraine, the central bank said it wanted to ban the use and mining of cryptocurrencies, arguing that they could be used to threaten its sovereignty by monetary policy and the country’s financial stability. Further explaining its unfavorable stance towards cryptocurrencies, the regulator argued that they could be used to fund terrorism and lead to money laundering.
The central bank believes cryptocurrencies bear the hallmarks of a Ponzi scheme, warning of potential bubbles in the market. The Russian apex bank has also expressed concerns about financial stability risks due to the highly volatile nature of crypto transactions.
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Russian Duma To Ban Cryptocurrency As Means Of Payment
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