According to a document reviewed by Reuters, Russian officials have drafted a “road map” that includes limits on cryptocurrency but not a complete ban as recommended by the central bank. Politicians have pressured the central bank to shift course after it recommended limiting cryptocurrency trading and mining due to concerns that it could cause financial instability.
The finance, economy, digital, and interior ministries, as well as the FSB security service and the central bank, are all members of the working group. According to the document, which was originally reported by business newspaper RBC, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko has signed the road map. “We note that all agencies, with the exception of the Bank of Russia, fully support the points of the road map,” the paper stated.
Putin asks for consensus
Last week, Russia’s central bank proposed banning cryptocurrency use and mining on Russian soil, citing financial stability, individual well-being, and the country’s monetary policy sovereignty as arguments. President Vladimir Putin has asked for an accord between the administration and the central bank.
During a video conference with government ministers on Wednesday, Putin acknowledged “certain risks” associated with cryptocurrencies, such as volatility, but also said crypto mining has “competitive benefits.” “The central bank does not block our technical progress and is taking the necessary steps to deploy the most cutting-edge technologies in this field,” Putin said at the meeting.
Because of its inexpensive electricity, Russia is the world’s third-largest crypto mining country, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index.
What would change?
The working group’s plan would allow Russian banking institutions to be the sole providers of cryptocurrency buying and selling. It proposes establishing mechanisms to prevent international crypto exchanges from providing services to Russian users, but it also suggests that foreign platforms that receive the necessary licenses be allowed to operate.
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, told Reuters this week that it wants to expand into Russia. According to a Central Bank report, Russia boasts 11.2 percent of the worldwide Bitcoin mining hashrate and over $5 billion (€4.4 billion) in annual cryptocurrency transactions.