Russia Finance Minister wants to let banks sell cryptocurrencies
On January 20, 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 Bitcoin.
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 finance advocated that local financial institutions have to be allowed to provide cryptocurrency trading services. In addition, he suggested implementing licensing rules for other types of businesses involving crypto.
He reportedly made such suggestions in a letter sent to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday.
On the other hand, for unlicensed companies, he suggested that providing services with cryptocurrencies has to be 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 highlighted by Siluanov, this cryptocurrency is on a par with precious metals in banks and other proposed regulated investment tools, KYC (Know Your Client’s Accounts) and Money Laundering Prevention.
To defend his position, Siluanov noted that Russians own approximately 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) in cryptocurrencies.
His estimate is significantly lower than the one presented by the Russian government this week, which calculated that Russians hold $214 billion in crypto.
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.