Russia is indeed a coutnry which can give out mixed signals when it comes to regulations. The crypto currency space is no exception. It was only a few weeks ago that we heard that the Moscow stock exchange was considering the legalisation of the trading of Bitcoin and Ether.
However, there seems to have been a slight change of heart. The governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Elvira Nabiullina said the following to the Russian Newswire, Tass:
The use of crypto-currency as a surrogate for the ruble in trading in goods and services, in our opinion, has a risk of undermining the circulation of money
This seems as to have been a more direct attempt by the authorities to restrict the use of ICOs which raise funds through Token issuance. Although she did not mention ICOs in particular, there were many who thought the insinuation was quite clear.
This is relevant for a number of other reasons. Not only is she the governor of he central bank but she is also a long time aide of president Putin. She has his confidence in anything to do with the national economics and sovereignty of the Russian government.
There was indeed hope in Russia that the government would be forward thinking about the currency. Vitalik Buterin, the lead developer at Ethereum met with Vladimir Putin recently to discuss the developments of blockchain technology. Vitalik himself was quite optimistic about the meeting and said so much in range of interviews since.
There was also talk that the Russian government could consider a “crypto ruble” as a nationally syndicated currency as well as the use of blockchain technology for public services. However, hopes of this were further put on hold when the Central Bank released a statement on the 4th of September dismissing the idea.
Given the high risks of circulation and use of crypto-currency, the Bank of Russia considers it premature to admit crypto-currencies
The crypto currency world had quite a difficult regulatory week. There was the news that the Chinese were banning ICOs on Friday which culminated in the rumours that there could be closures of Chinese based bitcoin . This had a noticeable impact on the price of the currencies.