- The regulation of online exchanges working with cryptocurrencies needs to be finalized by 2022.
- Based on efforts to manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks, the Russian government recognizes cryptocurrencies as a high risk factor for Russia’s financial system.
- Bitcoin payments are categorically opposed by Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia.
- As a result of a court ruling in October, several cryptocurrency exchange, cash-out, and transfer platforms for Russians could be closed.
By 2022, considerations regarding how online exchanges working with cryptocurrencies will be regulated must be concluded. Tass quotes Herman Neglyad, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring). According to the official, cryptocurrencies are recognized by the Russian government as a high-risk factor for Russia’s financial system in light of efforts to manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks. “Here we will have a discussion to complete, I think, in the coming year. It should be determined within the framework of the FATF standards.” Neglyad further emphasized.
Furthermore, the Rosfinmonitoring executive explained that the entry points into the financial system, in this case crypto exchanges, need to be regulated for FATF (Financial Action Task Force). He noted that the organization offers the country two alternatives: either legalizing the crypto platforms by registering them under anti-money laundering laws, or prohibiting their activities. “Both options have a right to exist. There are different points of view,” Herman Neglyad commented. At the same time, he insisted that the debate must eventually end.
In January, the Law on Digital Financial Assets came into force in the Russian Federation, partially regulating cryptocurrencies and some related activities. Nevertheless, there are many important aspects, including crypto mining, taxation matters, cryptocurrency trading, and the use of digital coins in payments, which need to be regulated.
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Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia, is categorically opposed to bitcoin payments. As a result, Russian law prohibits decentralized digital currencies, which the regulator deems ‘money surrogates’. In addition, it is developing and issuing a digital version of the national currency, the ruble, in collaboration with private banks.
Governments have often taken restrictive measures against cryptocurrency exchanges. In October, a court ruling described their content as prohibited, leading to the potential closure of several exchanges, cash-out, and transfer cryptocurrency platforms for Russian residents.