Projects on the regulation of crypto markets will be prepared by the Government of the Russian Federation.
In January, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation published a report on its official website, which justifies the need to ban mining and cryptocurrency turnover in the Russian Federation. After the publication, it turned out that the State Duma and the Government of Russia do not support the position of the regulator. Therefore, on January 26, at a meeting with members of the Cabinet of Ministers, Vladimir Putin asked government agencies to come to a consensus on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia. The President added that Russia has competitive advantages in mining: excess of electricity and trained personnel.
According to the financial publication Bloomberg, Vladimir Putin is of the opinion that mining should be legalized in regions with a excess of electric power capacity, such as Irkutsk, Krasnoyarsk and Karelia. The surplus in these areas appears due to the large capacity of local hydroelectric power plants and due to the fact that a number of energy-intensive industrial facilities of the Soviet era were closed.
Bloomberg journalists report that press secretary Dmitry Peskov did not comment on the president's position on this issue. The speaker noted that Vladimir Putin only recommended the government and the Central Bank to resolve their differences.
According to Bloomberg, the volume of cryptocurrencies in the hands of the Russians is estimated at 214 billion USD, which corresponds to 16.4 trillion rubles. If this figure is true, Russians own 12% of all global crypto assets.
Evgeny Lebedev, expert of the media Glagol
Evgeny Lebedev, WATT.ME crypto service advisor, has experience in the cryptocurrency industry since 2016, shared his opinion with our publication regarding the future of the Russian crypto industry:
“I have not heard anything new in the six years that I have been developing and using digital services, including those working in the crypto industry. Back in 2015, they wanted to introduce criminal liability for the turnover of cryptocurrencies, and then prohibit the purchase of cryptocurrencies, later they fought with mining, exchangers, private transfers allegedly for the purchase of bitcoin. The result is the same: "things aren't moving." The report looks more like a planned PR of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation for some kind of a longer game.
I remember how in 2015-16 I looked through the bill that the deputies submitted to the State Duma. They just took an article of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation on drug trafficking and replaced the phrase "narcotic drugs" with "cryptocurrency". It was essentially not applicable. And so it turned out that nothing happened with this bill.
These swings: we forbid - we allow, they swing constantly. Of course it gets into the media. Of course, this gets on the nerves of crypt holders, investors, those who have been in the crypt recently.
I will note that the fact that the exchange rate of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is now falling doesn’t depend on the statements of the Central Bank, this is a global trend. In general, there is nothing new in the report: just as they did not allow goods in Russia to be sold for a crypt, they repeated once again that it is impossible to buy a crypt for large amounts. But this is already the case! Unqualified investors cannot buy anything more than six hundred thousand rubles: neither cryptocurrencies, nor shares, nor gold... ” - says Evgeny Lebedev.
Ivan Kolnogorov, the expert of the media Glagol
Ivan Kolnogorov, adviser of the WATT.ME crypto service, has experience in the cryptocurrency industry since 2016, believes that experts' assessment of the volume of the crypto market at 6.4 trillion rubles fully reflects the actual state of affairs. In his opinion, Russians are increasingly using cryptocurrencies for investment. Even the disclosure of data by crypto exchanges about their users will not reduce people's interest in acquiring this asset:
“The possibility of a ban on cryptocurrencies by the Central Bank, of course, exists, but so far, the Central Bank’s report is more like another informational occasion that will allow us to understand the attitude towards the ban initiative. Although it would be correct to regulate this market, as is done in the West. In addition, Binance (the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange) has already stated that they are ready to provide, at the request of the Central Bank, all information on transactions conducted by citizens of the Russian Federation. Their example is likely to be followed by others in the industry.” - says Ivan Kolnogorov.
The discussion of the Central Bank's report is likely to drag on for the whole of 2022. But many industry participants have already thought about the ways of withdrawal, in case of tough measures.