Russia’s Finance Minister Proposes Allowing Banks to Sell Crypto

In a letter to the prime minister, the minister said that cryptocurrency investments should be handled similarly to gold and other assets.

According to Russian newspaper Kommersant, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov repeated the ministry’s stance on regulating rather than prohibiting cryptocurrency and urged allowing cryptocurrency trading through banks in a letter written to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday.

Unlike the Bank of Russia, which supports for a ban on cryptocurrency, Siluanov believes that banks can be authorised to provide bitcoin exchange services, and that licencing standards for other sorts of businesses will be established as well. Providing crypto services to organisations that aren’t licenced would be considered a criminal act. Cryptocurrencies cannot be used as legal money in Russia, according to both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia.

The Bank of Russia and Rosfinmonitoring, Russia’s anti-money laundering (AML) agency, must have access to cryptocurrency-related transaction records, and the Transparent Blockchain transaction tracking system must be employed, as per Siluanov.

According to Kommersant, such an approach would place cryptocurrencies on par with precious-metal accounts in banks and other regulated investment tools, with necessary know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (AML) checks for buyers, taxation, and regulated fiat on-ramps.

According to Siluanov, Russians own around 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) in cryptocurrency, which accounts for only a small percentage of the country’s total savings. After the proposed new law take effect, these money will need to be authorized, according to Kommerstant. Mining and foreign cryptocurrency trading sites will also require authorization, resulting in an additional 180 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) in taxes, according to the regulator.

Several Russian government groups had previously agreed on a framework for cryptocurrency regulation, which was due by the end of the year. The action was sparked by a study published by the Bank of Russia earlier this month, which called for a total ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the Russian government and the Bank of Russia to reach an agreement on cryptocurrency legislation, claiming that Russia has a competitive advantage in the global mining business.

 

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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