Russia’s finance minister has revealed plans to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies in the country, rather than ban them, by the end of the year.
Speaking at a financial forum in Moscow, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov revealed the government’s significantly-shifting stance on regulatory and legal future of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin in the country. After years of Russian authorities preparing drafts to outlaw and even criminalize adoption and mining of cryptocurrencies, Russia is now pressing ahead with plans for regulating and, in effect, legalizing cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation.
As quoted by Reuters, Siluanov stated:
The state understands indeed that cryptocurrencies are real. There is no sense in banning them, there is a need to regulate them.
Individuals or firms looking to buy virtual currencies will have to register themselves under soon-to-be-enforced laws that will also detail a procedure for buying bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Siluanov added. Further, the purchase of cryptocurrencies would be treated akin to buying securities under the new laws currently being worked on by the Finance Ministry.
The finance official also warned investors of volatility in cryptocurrencies The ministry will work toward to “make investments into such instruments regulated,” Siluanov revealed. “We must make an organized market out of the black market.”
While developments toward regulation gather pace, it remains to be seen if cryptocurrencies gain the status of currencies in Russia. Earlier in May this year, the governor of Russia’s central bank claimed bitcoin would be regulated as a “digital asset” rather than being considered a currency. Following those comments, the central bank’s deputy chairwoman revealed the bank’s involvement in drafting legislation to legally recognize and monitor cryptocurrencies as well as taxing adopters.
Russian authorities first revealed plans to recognize and regulate bitcoin in April this year, when deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev spoke about the government’s intention to keep an eye on bitcoin transactions.
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