The Central Bank of Russia supports the development of digital financial assets but remains opposed to the legalization of cryptocurrency payments, its top management reiterated. The monetary authority is now working on a set of regulatory proposals that will be presented to parliament at the end of the year.
Central Bank of Russia Takes Legislative Initiative on Regulation of Digital Assets
The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) intends to present a legislative package on the regulation of digital financial assets (DFA) in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament. Under current Russian law, the term DFA refers to coins and tokens with an issuing entity, as opposed to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Speaking during Finopolis, a forum dedicated to financial innovations, the bank’s vice president, Olga Skorobogatova, explained that the proposals pursue three main goals: improve taxation and eliminate tax arbitrage, develop exchange platforms, and regulate smart contracts.
The CBR executive highlighted the great interest in the development of DFA in Russia. “We think this is a very good new tool for financial market participants,” she said, quoted by cryptocurrency news site Forklog.
Skorobogatova revealed that the monetary authority is currently reviewing nine applications from companies seeking a license to issue and circulate digital financial assets. Three “information system operators” (Sberbank, Atomyze and Lighthouse) have already been authorized to do this, she noted.
The Bank of Russia maintains its opposition to the legalization of cryptocurrency deals
Meanwhile, speaking in the Duma, CBR Governor Elvira Nabiullina stated that while the Bank of Russia supports the development of digital financial assets, it is against the use of private cryptocurrencies in deals. Quoted by the Tass news outlet, she also insisted that digital financial assets are not just limited to cryptocurrencies and emphasized:
We have not changed our position that private cryptocurrencies, for which it is unclear who and how is responsible, which are opaque and carry high volatility risks, should not be used in liquidations.
Discussions about the state of cryptocurrencies and the regulation of the cryptocurrency market in Russia have been ongoing for more than a year. The CBR has traditionally maintained a strict stance, proposing a blanket ban on related activities such as mining and trading in January.
However, sanctions over the war in Ukraine, including restrictions on international payments, have softened his stance. In September, the monetary authority agreed with the Ministry of Finance that, under current conditions, it would be impossible for Russia to dispense with cross-border cryptocurrency deals.