Russia will “sooner or later” legalize crypto as a means of payment, according to Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov.
CRYPTO — On Wednesday, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that Russia will legalize cryptocurrencies as a means of payment “sooner or later”, suggesting that the central bank and the government may be moving closer to settling their differences.
Reuters reported that the finance ministry submitted legislative proposals that clashed with the central bank’s demand for a blanket ban shortly before Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24.
Manturov was asked at a forum whether he believed crypto would become legal as a means of payment.
“The question is, when this happens, how it will be regulated, now that the central bank and government are actively working on it,” Manturov said. “But everyone tends to understand that … sooner or later this will be implemented, in some format or other.“
Based on a report, Russia has plans to issue its own digital rouble, but the government has only recently come round to supporting the use of private crypto, having argued for years that they could be used in money laundering or to finance terrorism.
Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, however, has said that the bank can’t welcome investments in crypto, which account for about USD 5 billion worth of transactions a year by Russians, and has proposed banning mining and trading them.
Citing risks to financial stability from the rising number of cryptocurrency transactions, other central bank officials said last year that they didn’t see room for crypto to be used on the Russian financial market.
According to Manturov, regulations for the use of crypto would in the first instance be formulated by the central bank, and then by the government.