Russia’s Central Bank has revealed its vision for crypto regulation. However, the process behind regulating crypto in the country is proving to be painfully slow and developing a new framework appears to be frustrating for many of the experts involved.
The head of the State Duma’s Committee on the Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov has previously admitted that draft crypto legislation will likely not appear any sooner than spring 2022.
The reason for the delay is a messy relationship between the Central Bank and other anti-crypto regulatory and government voices and pro-business advocates in the government, who prefer a more pragmatic approach.
The Central Bank has previously spoken in favour of a complete cryptocurrency ban. But according to the news agency Tass, the Russian bank could be ready to open the door for some sort of compromise.
Instead of implementing a complete crypto blackout, the bank now appears to favour allowing Russian citizens and businesses to acquire and store crypto. However, this is as long as tokens are not handled by domestic entities. Russia-based brokers and commercial banks would also be frozen out of the picture.
The comments around the potential regulation came from the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank, Vladimir Chistyukhin, who was quoted as having told reporters in the Duma:
“I think that we will resolve the issue [of crypto] by amending legislation. There will be a more precise definition of how cryptocurrencies can circulate.”
Chistyukhin went on to explain that the Central Bank was now “preparing a report” that would further explain how it envisioned crypto fitting into the greater financial picture.
“The report will contain our stance as to the place we see for cryptocurrency in the Russian financial market. I will give [you] a hint: We do not see any place for cryptocurrency in the Russian financial market.”
The cryptocurrency industry in Russia was likely unsurprised by this statement, as it has heard a number of similar propositions from the bank and its arch crypto-sceptic Governor Elvira Nabiullina. The governor has previously stated that domestic banks should stay away from crypto-related business.
However, it seems unlikely that Nabiullina and co will be able to completely overrun the crypto sector. This is because many of Russia’s wealthiest individuals have made very sizable crypto investments.