On January 20th, Cryptheory reported that the Bank of Russia, the country’s monetary authority, proposed a ban on mining, issuing, circulating and trading cryptocurrencies on Russian territory.
But since then, the Russian central bank’s position has been contested. Vladimir Putin, for example, was against this idea. According to him, Russia has distinct characteristics that allow it to benefit from BTC mining.
Now, who is taking a stand against the country’s central bank is Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
According to Russian newspaper Kommersant, the head of the portfolio advocated that local financial institutions be allowed to provide cryptocurrency trading services. In addition, he suggested implementing licensing rules for other types of businesses involving crypto.
He reportedly made the suggestions in a letter sent to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday.
On the other hand, for unlicensed companies, it suggested that providing services with cryptocurrencies be treated as a criminal offence.
In this regard, both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia agree.
Also according to Siluanov, the Bank of Russia and Russian anti-money laundering agency Rosfinmonitoring should have access to information about cryptocurrency-related transactions. At the same time, the “Transparent Blockchain” transaction tracking system must be used.
As Siluanov pointed out, this proposal would put cryptocurrencies on a par with precious metals accounts in banks and other regulated investment tools, requiring KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Money Laundering Prevention).
Cryptocurrencies in Russia
To defend his position, Siluanov noted that Russians own approximately 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) in cryptocurrencies.
Its estimate is significantly lower than the presented by the Russian government this week, which calculated that Russians hold $214 billion in crypto.
In any case, Siluanov explained that these funds will need to be legalized if the new regulations come into effect.
Exchanges and miners
In addition, foreign cryptocurrency mining and trading platforms will also need to be licensed to operate in the country.
According to him, this would bring an additional 180 billion rubles in taxes ($2.3 billion).
One of the exchanges eyeing the Russian market is Binance. Last week, the company announced that it is looking to expand its services to the country and some of its neighbors.