Russian Lawmakers Set to Ban Cryptocurrency, Except Digital Rubles

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Russian Lawmakers Set to Ban Cryptocurrency, Except Digital Rubles
  • Russian lawmakers plan to ban cryptocurrency circulation to uphold the ruble’s dominance, permitting only digital assets issued in Russia.
  • The ban targets Bitcoin and others, but exceptions apply to certain mining entities and Central Bank test projects.
  • Aimed at reducing exposure to Western sanctions, the ban allows for continued cryptocurrency circulation within regulated parameters.

Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, informed NSN that Russian lawmakers are planning to implement a ban on organizing the circulation of cryptocurrencies, effective September 1. This move aims to maintain the dominance of the Russian ruble as the country’s sole legal tender.

Furthermore, Aksakov stated that the proposed ban would specifically target transactions involving bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies, allowing only digital financial assets issued within Russian jurisdiction, such as digital rubles. 

Moreover, Aksakov and a group of State Duma deputies have put forward a bill to regulate mining activities, which includes provisions for the ban on organizing cryptocurrency circulation. However, certain exceptions will be made for miners, mining pools, and Central Bank test projects operating within an experimental legal regime.

Subsequently, Artem Kiryanov, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy and head of the Russian Union of Taxpayers has emphasized the importance of establishing a clear legal framework for cryptocurrency regulation. He advocates for defining terms and ensuring unified judicial enforcement practices to enhance regulatory clarity.

Despite the ban on organizing cryptocurrency circulation, Anton Gorelkin, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy, clarified that the bill does not prohibit the overall circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia. Instead, it aims to crack down on illegal crypto exchanges operating outside the Central Bank’s experimental legal regime.

Gorelkin suggests that the ban serves as a protective measure against potential vulnerabilities to Western sanctions, as it limits businesses’ exposure to the cryptocurrency sector. He mentions that the ban might see adjustments in the future, indicating the government’s readiness to adapt its approach to cryptocurrency regulation.

The suggested ban aligns with Russian authorities’ endeavors to enhance the supervision of the cryptocurrency industry. Rosfinmonitoring, the key anti-money laundering regulator in Russia, has been monitoring over 25,000 domestic cryptocurrency users and has urged the government to accelerate the enactment of cryptocurrency regulations.

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