The Russian Finance Minister, Mr Anton Siluanov has stated that he sees “No Point in Prohibiting” the use of crypto currencies. However, the Minister has made his intentions clear of possibly regulating them by the end of 2017.
In the past, the Russian financial regulators treated any currency that was issued by non-state approved institutions as “illegal” but could no longer ignore the prevalence of the Bitcoin Market.
Speaking at a Moscow Financial Forum on Friday, Mr Siluanov reiterated previous views by other government officials.
The state certainly understands that cryptocurrencies are a reality, there is no point in prohibiting them. It is possible to regulate them, so the Finance Ministry will draw up a bill by the end of the year.
He also mentioned that by the end of this year, his ministry will finish working on laws which would define a particular procedure for people to follow when buying and selling digital currencies. This would include a possibly registration by those individuals who would like to transact with them.
Mr Siluanov sees that this scheme could be similar to a scheme that the finance ministry has launched this year for households to buy securities and treasury bonds. There was no specification which Crypto currencies exactly would be subjected to the regulation.
Although Siluanov said that the government would still be regulating them, there was still a large risk that involved their use. He mentioned that there was a great deal of fraud that could be perpetrated with crypto currencies and that they were naturally not as secure.
Indeed, similar sentiments were echoed by the head of the Ministry of Economic development, Mr Maxim Oreshkin in a TV interview with Russia 24. In a translation of his statement he said that
We see that the volatility that exists here is tens of percent in one direction, tens of percent in the other direction, which in fact is bad about this instrument
The eventual hope is that regulation of the instrument could provide more market liquidity and eventually reduce the extensive volatility that exists.
Russia has indeed been given mixed signals when it comes to the government’s position on crypto currencies. At first there were hopes that Russia could become one of the leading lights in digital currency as Vladimir Putin met with Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum. There were suggestions that there could even be a state back “crypto Ruble”. However, these notions were shot down by the governor of the Central Bank.