Russian central bank to demand ban on investing in cryptocurrencies

A Russian flag flies in front of the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York. REUTERS / Andrew Kelly

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MOSCOW, Dec. 16 (Reuters) – Russia’s central bank wants to ban cryptocurrency investments in Russia, seeing financial stability risks in growing number of crypto transactions, said two financial market sources close to the bank .

The major cryptocurrency bitcoin fell after the report to $ 48,656, from levels of around $ 49,144 seen shortly before.

Russia has opposed cryptocurrencies for years, saying they could be used for money laundering or to finance terrorism. It finally gave them legal status in 2020 but banned their use as a means of payment.

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The central bank is currently in talks with market players and experts over a possible ban. If approved by lawmakers, it could apply to new purchases of crypto assets but not to those purchased in the past, said one of the financial market sources, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Another source close to the Bank of Russia said the central bank’s current position is a “complete rejection” of all cryptocurrencies.

In response to Reuters’ request for comment, the central bank said it was preparing an advisory report to express its position on the matter. He did not comment on the details.

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The annual volume of cryptocurrency transactions carried out by the Russians is around $ 5 billion, the central bank said.

Central Bank Senior Vice Governor Ksenia Yudaeva said this month that the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies raised concerns about the risks to financial stability.

“The situation in developed market countries increasingly resembles the so-called shadow financial system,” Yudaeva wrote in an article, adding that the use of cryptocurrencies reduced the effectiveness of monetary policies. .

Highlighting China’s experience, she said Russia needed a further adjustment in cryptocurrency regulations.

In September, China stepped up its crackdown on cryptocurrencies with a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining, hitting bitcoin and other major coins and putting pressure on crypto-related stocks and to blockchain. Read more

Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia plans to issue its own digital ruble, joining the global trend to develop digital currencies to modernize financial systems, speed up payments, and counter a potential threat from other cryptocurrencies.

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Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Katya Golubkova, William Maclean and Gareth Jones

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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