Russian authorities to license cryptocurrency platforms

08 Feb

MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. The Concept for legislative regulation of digital currencies turnover provides that cryptocurrency platforms for operations in Russia should be licensed and have financial safety cushions, the Cabinet’s press service said on Tuesday.

“Protection of rights of the citizen, further to investors’ breakdown into qualified and nonqualified, will be supported on account of requirements to licensing of cryptocurrency platforms. In their turn, they will be obliged to have financial safety cushions for capital liquidity and adequacy,” the press service said.

It is also anticipated to introduce an obligation for market participants “to inform citizens about higher risks related to digital currencies.”

The Russian government, which is hosting the ongoing debate on the future of decentralized digital money in Russia, is going to produce alternative scenarios for crypto regulation by Feb. 11. The Russian business daily Kommersant broke the news, quoting documents from a meeting held at the White House in Moscow last week.

The fate of cryptocurrencies in the country is likely to be decided by the outcome of a clash between two opposing views. While the Central Bank of Russia proposes a blanket ban on crypto-related activities such as issuance, exchange, and mining, the Ministry of Finance pushes for legalization under strict rules and without recognizing bitcoin as a means of payment.

Bank of Russia elaborated its position on cryptocurrencies in a consultation paper published last month. It says that all transactions with private digital currencies should be conducted outside Russian jurisdiction and without using Russia’s financial infrastructure. On the other hand, the Finance Ministry insists that authorities should differentiate between “white” and “black” crypto market activities. Both agree, however, that cryptocurrencies should not be granted legal tender status.

Last week, RBC reported that the government has drafted a regulatory roadmap, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. According to Kommersant, its concept about the regulation of the crypto market has been outlined in a letter by Finance Minister Anton Siluanov to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin. It has been agreed with other departments and regulatory bodies, including the ministries of economy and digital development, Russia’s financial watchdog, Rosfinmonitoring, the Federal Tax Service and the Federal Security Service.

According to Siluanov, Russian citizens have 12 million crypto wallets with coins worth around 2 trillion rubles (almost $26.5 billion). However, knowledgeable sources quoted by Bloomberg have recently revealed that the government is also working with a much higher estimate, according to which Russians own $215 billion in cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency Platform – Coat of Arms of Russia image

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