Central Bank of Russia ready to make some concessions on cryptocurrency

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Russia is strictly cryptosceptic Central Bank has indicated that it is willing to soften its stance on cryptocurrencies to allow the adoption of a key piece of legislation – but it is still in favor of a freeze on all domestic cryptocurrencies.

Following several calls from government agencies to allow cryptocurrencies in international trade agreements, the central bank made its first public concession on this front yesterday. The bank had previously called for a Chinese-style cryptocurrency.

According to Kommersant and Vedomosti, the bank’s first deputy chairman Ksenia Yudaeva said the central bank “in principle” does not mind the use of cryptocurrencies in “international transactions” and the use of tokens in the “international financial infrastructure”.

Last week, the head of the bank’s financial technology division, Kirill Pronin, warned that any perceived “legalization” of cryptocurrencies could lead to an insidious “cryptoization” of the Russian economy.

Judaeva also noted:

“The bank maintains its position that active use of cryptocurrencies in the country, especially in Russia’s financial system, would create major risks and dangers for citizens. We believe that these risks can be quite large in Russia.”

Kommersant reported, however, that the bank has also “softened” its stance on cryptocurrency – an industry that it originally wanted to ban, but which has now apparently admitted, could be a source of taxable income.

Kommersant further claimed that the bank was “pushed” into a compromise by “executive authorities”, according to an unnamed “source close to the development” of Russia’s crypto legislation.

Earlier this year, President Vladimir Putin personally called on the bank and the more crypto-friendly Ministry of Finance to settle their inconsistencies.

However, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma’s Financial Markets Committee, recently said that legislation is still being held up by “heated discussions” – probably between the ministry and the central bank.

Some experts have argued that cryptocurrencies are already a poor choice of financial instrument in the international clearing sphere, including Aksakov, who argued that America “has already preventively maintained” the crypto market to tighten sanctions.

Individually, the media agreed that the bank’s “position” “judging by Yudaeva’s speech” “is getting closer and closer to” the Ministry of Finance.

The ministry wants to describe cryptocurrencies as a form of real estate that can be used in “international barter” with foreign buyers and sellers – as well as with providers of “intellectual services”.

A speaker of Moscow Digital SchoolEfim Kazantsev, however, believed that “the sanctions greatly limit the ability of Russian companies to settle their bills with foreign firms, and cryptocurrencies may be a good alternative in this situation.”

A legal expert, meanwhile, believed that “as long as cryptocurrencies play a role in circumventing sanctions,” politicians and regulators can continue to explore “options for regulating cryptocurrencies” – instead of trying to impose bans.

Aksakov, meanwhile, appeared to rule out the value of cryptocurrencies in potential sanctions evasion efforts late last week. Interfax quoted him as saying:

“There is a suspicion that the US intelligence services control the circulation of cryptocurrencies and there is no desire for [für russische Firmen und Einzelpersonen]to come under the invisible or visible eye of those agencies when carrying out financial transactions. “

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