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Russia to legalize crypto as a payment method

Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov have stated that the country will eventually legalize cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, implying that the government and central bank are nearing an agreement.

At a forum, the Russian minister was asked if he thought cryptocurrencies would be legalized as a form of payment. In response, Manturov stated, “The question is, when this happens, how will it be regulated, now that the central bank and government are actively working on it.”

However, everyone understands that… sooner or later, this will be implemented in some form or another.

The finance ministry submitted legislative proposals that clashed with the central bank’s demand for a blanket ban just days before Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24. Russia intends to issue its own digital rouble, but the government has only recently come around to supporting the use of private cryptocurrencies after arguing for years that they could be utilized for money laundering or terrorism funding.

However, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina has stated that the bank will not accept investments in cryptocurrencies, which account for approximately $5 billion in transactions by Russians each year, and has proposed a ban on trading and mining them.

Other central bank officials stated last year that they did not see cryptocurrency being used on the Russian financial market due to the risks to financial stability posed by the increasing number of crypto transactions.

Manturov stated that regulations for the use of cryptocurrencies would be developed first by the central bank and then by the government.

Prices for the two largest cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, and Ethereum, have both dropped by more than 55 percent in the last six months, prompting some to suggest that regulation is required to calm the market.

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