Russian Authorities Agree on ‘Roadmap’ for Crypto Regulation

Russian Authorities Agree on ‘Roadmap’ for Crypto Regulation

Authorities in Russia have agreed on a collective ‘roadmap’ for cryptocurrency regulation, following debate over the past week. 

The working group consisted of the finance, economy, digital and interior ministries, the FSB security service, as well as the central bank, according to fellow signatory Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko. The working group’s proposal would introduce a regulatory framework for crypto, as opposed to a complete ban as advocated by the central bank. 

One major feature of the proposal is that cryptocurrency brokerage would have to be done exclusively through Russian banking organizations. To facilitate this condition, the proposal also suggests preventing foreign crypto exchanges from offering services to users in Russia.

However, they could ultimately be permitted to operate within the country after obtaining the appropriate license. Incidentally, one Binance executive just announced the company’s interest in entering the Russian market. 

While the document “noted that the points of the road map were supported in full by all agencies, with the exception of the Bank of Russia,” the central bank reported that it was familiar with the roadmap draft.

Reaching a consensus

The proposal comes following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s request that authorities “come to some kind of consensus,” following the announcement of conflicting approaches. Initially, the central bank had suggested banning usage, trading and mining of cryptocurrencies over concerns of illicit funding and financial instability. 

“We believe it is necessary to prepare a federal law, establishing a ban on the issue and circulation on Russian territory of private digital currencies and also to determine liability for violating this ban,” the central bank declared last week.

Days later, however, representatives from the Ministry of Finance said they believed regulation to be preferable to restrictions. “We need to give these technologies the opportunity to develop,” said Ivan Chebeskov, financial policy department director at the Ministry of Finance. “In this regard, the Ministry of Finance is actively involved in the development of legislative initiatives in terms of regulating this market,” he said. 

The finance ministry proceeded to prepare a concept for regulating the industry, which likely served as the antecedent to the current proposal. For instance, it suggested carrying out all crypto transactions through Russian banks, in addition to identifying crypto wallet holders, and classifying digital asset investors as either qualified or unqualified.

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