Is Russia joining the crypto party?

Russia Will Issue Its Own Official Cryptocurrency, Behold the CryptoRuble

Regulation is rife across Asia as crypto mania reaches record highs. Just a few days ago the markets took a nose dive when major news outlets misreported a complete crypto crackdown in South Korea. This was of course fake news and FUD as the government only banned anonymous trading accounts to prevent money laundering.

Russia, which has already clamped down on exchanges last year, is currently mulling legalizing crypto trading once again. According to reports the Russian Ministry of Finance has drafted a new bill to decriminalize cryptocurrency trading on organized trading platforms. It will submit the bill to the federal legislature a vote next month.

Alexei Moiseev, the deputy finance minister, spoke to media last week stating that the finance ministry supported the legalization of crypto trading on official exchanges and it did not wish to heavily regulate is but will set some limits. He went on to state;

“This is about the fact that buying and selling of cryptocurrencies will be somehow standardized. The general idea is that it will be necessary to buy and sell on official exchanges, as it will be declared, it will be legalized,”

Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, opposes the notion as most banks do. It has acknowledged the possibility of legalization and has entered into discussion with policy makers at the finance ministry. Some form of compromise will be needed for the motion to be passed in government.

Just last November the Russian ministry of communications said that Bitcoin would ‘never’ be legal tender within its borders after a country-wide clampdown on exchanges the previous month. Earlier this month Russia announced plans for its own ‘cryptorouble’ to evade western sanctions indicating it still has ambitions for digital currencies.

The bill was originally drafted in April 2017 and set for review in October but pushed back for a number of reasons. Lawmakers finally met to discuss it again at the end of December and now it finally gets passed off for a vote in February.

Lawmaker Anatoly Aksakov, Chair of the State Duma’s financial market committee told local media;

 “The problem is that we already have a lot of people who acquire cryptocurrencies and they are deceived, we need to give people the opportunity to work legally with it, to protect them as much as possible.”

President Putin echoed the sentiment speaking to media last week;

“If we regulate, but not efficiently enough, then the government will be responsible for the difficult situations that people can get into. “

It appears that the government wants to be a benign regulator acting in the interest of the people but as history has taught us this is rarely the reality.