According to recent reports, the country’s Central Bank has reached an agreement with the government to regulate crypto. The regulations should arrive by February 18th and will recognize crypto as an “analogue of currencies.”
A recent report published by a local Russian newspaper, Kommersant, claims that the country’s authorities have reached an agreement with the Bank of Russia regarding cryptocurrencies. The report says that cryptocurrencies, which were recently expected to face a blanket ban, will now be recognized as a form of currency.
Russia Changes its Stance on Crypto
The cryptocurrency landscape in Russia has drastically shifted over the past few weeks. In the early days of 2022, the country’s Central Bank was pushing for a blanket ban that would render digital currencies illegal, similar to actions taken by China in 2021. However, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he could see a way for the country to benefit from cryptocurrencies, all talk of banning the crypto industry has ceased.
Instead, the Bank of Russia has initiated discussions on this issue with the government, with Kommersant now claiming that the two sides have reached an agreement on how to regulate the sector.
How will Digital Currencies be Treated in Russia?
The report goes on to say that the two entities are working on a draft law, which is expected by February 18th. The law will define crypto as an “analogue of currencies” as opposed to digital financial assets. While the Russians will be allowed to use cryptocurrencies, usage will only be possible “in the legal sector.” Those using cryptocurrencies will be required to fully disclose their identities and use digital currencies either through the official banking system or via licensed intermediaries.
Additional details mentioned in the report also suggest that transactions that meet a certain threshold be formally declared. According to the report, this will include all crypto payments that include 600,000 rubles (approximately $8,000) or more. Failing to meet the reporting requirements would be considered a criminal offense. The new law will also introduce fines for anyone who accepts digital currencies as a means of payment without having a license to do so.
Russia’s Cryptocurrency Future
Despite Russia’s sudden reversal of its stance on cryptocurrencies, details on how the government and Russian financial institutions will further regulate crypto remain uncertain. Based on recent reports, crypto aficionados and investors should adopt a cautiously optimistic stance on the future viability of cryptocurrencies in Russia.