Russian finance ministry splits from Central Bank over crypto
Russia is preparing to regulate the use of digital assets with a new crypto bill, despite Central Bank calls for an outright ban.
A statement published today revealed that a crypto Bill was presented last Friday which will continue to prohibit digital assets from being used as a means of payment in Russia, but allows private ownership. Digital asset companies, including exchanges, will be able to register to provide services in the country while retail investors will be allowed to invest a limited amount of capital in crypto assets each year.
In today’s press release the Ministry of Finance said objections of the Bank of Russia “will be considered in the further work on this bill where they don’t contradict the Ministry of Finance approach.”
The comments reference a policy split between Russia’s finance ministry and its Central Bank which called for an all out ban on crypto mining and trading, raising the alarm over the environmental impact and economic stability risks presented by digital assets.
While the official text of the bill is not yet available, the press release said that exchanges will be required to inform users about the risks of investing in crypto and set online tests to ensure they understand digital assets and the related risks. Retail traders who pass the test will be allowed to invest up to 600,000 rubles (£5,760) a year in crypto, while those who don’t are limited to 50,000 rubles. There will be no limits for qualified traders.
To ensure crypto transactions can be monitored, citizens will have to trade digital assets using bank accounts and exchanges with know-your-customer (KYC) checks. Crypto exchanges will have to keep a record of their customers’ crypto addresses and keep user funds in separate accounts.
Cryptocurrency mining will also come under regulatory oversight if the new bill is adopted. The press release said the draft law creates a mechanism for miners to inform the tax authorities about mining.
Read more: Ukraine legalises crypto as tensions with Russia escalate