Russia Abandons Plans for a State-Run Cryptocurrency Exchange

A Russian news outlet stated on Sunday that lawmakers in Russia have decided to abandon plans to establish a state-owned cryptocurrency exchange and will instead focus on establishing rules and regulations for currently existing businesses.

The news was first reported on Twitter on Monday morning by Colin Wu of Wu Blockchain. He provided a translation of a Russian news source that explained that the nation’s new priority would be to permit private businesses to create cryptocurrency exchanges.

Ivan Chebeskov, Director of the Financial Policy Department of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Finance, was quoted as saying, “The [Ministry] did not support the establishment of one national crypto-exchange.” Instead, the intention is to “legally govern the potential creation of such sites by businesses.

It is intended to establish regulations for the establishment and operation of such infrastructures, noted Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian lower house committee on financial markets.

He also stated that crypto exchanges will be permitted to facilitate cross-border transfers, though he did not name which ones and recognised that they would almost certainly face new regulations.

According to Izvestia, the Russian news site that broke the revelation, the Central Bank would “probably” control the activity of these platforms, and the institution will manage foreign settlements inside the country’s regulatory framework.

The announcement encouraged several private crypto businesses in the Russian Federation.

This will help reduce the risks of sanctions, cyber assaults on infrastructure, and potential market monopolies, according to Oleg Ogienko of BitRiver, a cryptocurrency mining business based in Russia. Ivan Gostev, commercial director for GIS Mining, agreed, saying that this will allow for more competitive and innovative enterprises to emerge.

The private sector’s hopeful outlook should come as no surprise given Russia’s ranking of #137 out of 180 nations on the 2022 Global Corruptions Index, emphasising the necessity for care in their ambitious endeavours.

For years, Russian authorities have been in and out of the digital asset arena. The Bank of Russia advocated an outright ban on crypto payments early last year, while the Ministry of Finance proposed Bitcoin laws a month later. Later, Vladimir Putin approved legislation making digital asset payments illegal, only for the country to look into stablecoins as a way to avoid penalties.

Today’s revelation comes in the midst of continued Western-led financial restrictions imposed on Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. Despite a history of conflicting signals, today may herald a new chapter in the government’s relationship with cryptocurrencies.

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