A report by Russian news service Interfax claims that a Ministry of Finance representative hinted at the idea of allowing cryptocurrency trading in the future, despite the country’s current ban on cryptoassets.
Russia Considers Allowing Cryptocurrency Trading
The report, published on June 21, states that Deputy Minister of Finance Alexei Moiseyev told journalists cryptocurrency trading was being considered in a bill circulating the Russian Federation. Moiseyev cautioned that the Ministry of Finance had not reached a conclusion on cryptocurrency, but intimated that trading may eventually be allowed.
The Deputy Minister explained that the Russian central bank and Ministry of Finance were debating the nuances of cryptocurrency in a meeting held on Friday,
“We now have a question of determining how much cryptocurrency can be used. There is a range from prohibition to the possibility of purchase. Like foreign currency, it’s possible to buy and sell, but it’s impossible to pay. After a political decision is made on this issue, we will have the responsibility.”
In May 2018 the Russian Federation passed a landmark bill banning the use of cryptoassets for payment, including the ability for Russian citizens to trade crypto.
However, Moiseyev’s recent comments allude to the government considering allowing citizens the right to buy and sell crypto via trading while continuing the ban on its actual use as a form of payment.
FATF Complicates Cryptocurrency Trading
Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma Financial Market Committee, called the review of Russia’s cryptocurrency policy a “compromise solution.” He pointed to the recent mandate passed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) necessitating Russia draft a revised policy towards cryptocurrency to remain in compliance against money laundering.
On the same day the Russian Ministry of Finance discussed cryptoasset trading, the FATF issued a controversial decision, requiring cryptocurrency exchanges to share user data. The intergovernmental group cited the need for increased regulations to combat money laundering and illicit behavior.
The crypto community responded to the FATF’s decision with overwhelming disapproval. Chainalysis, a data analytics firm, claimed that the mandate would have the opposite effect and ultimately lead to less transparency.