Current Russian law recognizes crypto assets but does not allow their use as a means of payment, meaning they are largely unregulated. A recent government document estimates that Russians hold around 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) in cryptocurrency.
Russia Top Government Officials Fails to Reach Agreement on Crypto
According to a report on February 15, senior government officials failed to reach an agreement on how cryptocurrencies should be regulated at Tuesday’s meeting, despite requests from President Vladimir Putin to seek a compromise.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiulina, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Grigorenko were no closer to reaching an agreement only to decide, people familiar with the matter said not publicly.
Spokesmen for the press office of the central bank and the Ministry of Finance declined to comment on the meeting. A spokesman for Grigorenko did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Despite Putin’s call for a quick fix in January, little progress has been made in reaching an agreement on how Russia should regulate cryptocurrencies. Kommersant reported last week that the Treasury and Central Bank had until February 18 to draft a law on the issue.
According to a letter from Nabiullina to Siluanov on Friday, seen by Bloomberg, the central bank believes there are too many risks associated with crypto and has proposed a ban. The content of the letter was confirmed by the Central Bank Intelligence Service.
Regulators believe that cryptocurrencies are similar to pyramid schemes and pose a threat to people’s finances, the financial system, and the economy. The government wants to regulate digital currencies to keep them out of the shadows and attract investment.