July 4, 2019
The battle of cryptocurrencies continues in all corners of the world, with more or less success, depending on each individual country and its regulatory authorities. The situation in Russia, for example, finally started seeing a positive change, even if only slightly.
The country's Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Moiseev, recently commented on the future of cryptocurrencies in Russia, stating that they will never be allowed as a means of payment for goods and services. Despite the fact that the rest of the world seems to be inching towards bringing cryptocurrencies into the everyday life of its citizens, Moiseev seems to have no doubt that this will never become a reality in Russia.
He pointed out that the country's national currency is ruble, and all settlements should be made in rubles. Meanwhile, the use of digital assets for settlements will remain permanently banned. After that, he also spoke about crypto mining, stating that the authorities have decided to give up on the idea of criminal prosecution for such activities. However, he did point out that this is only because it would be impossible to legally define a crime. For now, the authorities will only research the subject, and then decide how to proceed about it.
The next topic that Moiseev spoke of was Facebook's Libra, noting that there will be no separate legislation for this single cryptocurrency. Instead, it would be governed just like any other crypto, forced to follow the same rules.
However, he did announce positive news regarding Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), stating that the authorities have finally decided to legalize it. As for cryptocurrencies themselves, their official status is still a matter of debate in Russia. Moiseev hinted that one possible solution would be to start regarding digital currencies as regular foreign currencies. This would mean that citizens are allowed to legally buy them, sell them, store them, and alike. However, they would not be accepted by any store, service, and alike.
Further, Moiseev openly opposes the very idea of creating a white market for digital currencies. According to him, doing something like that could only lead to chaos, later down the line. Even so, he did mention that buying and selling cryptocurrencies in Russia might be allowed, but he always kept returning to the announcement that they will never be allowed to be used in settlements.
Meanwhile, more information came from Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of State Duma Committee on the Financial market. As recently as last week, Aksakov stated that the bill regarding digital financial assets might be adopted by the end of July. This would mean that ICOs and crypto trading might become fully legal in less than a month. But, he also pointed out that the authorities have yet to make a decision in regards to market regulation. Delaying such a decision may prove to be a barrier to actively embracing cryptocurrencies in Russia.
For now, all that investors and traders can do is wait and see how the situation will be handled. Even so, many believe that this will be a huge step for crypto, not only in Russia but on a global scale as well.
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