Reports in local Russian media said on Wednesday that Russia may become latest country to recognise and regulate cryptocurrency.
“The government and the Bank of Russia have agreed on a future regime for the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia. Before February 18, they will prepare a draft law on the circulation of digital currencies in the Russian Federation, in which cryptocurrencies are recognised as an analogue of currencies, and not digital financial assets,” said Russia paper Kommersant as reported by CNBC.
If true, this will be a marked departure from stance taken Russia’s central bank which called for blanket ban on cryptocurrencies as late as last month.
If the law reported in Russian media is passed, reports say that only owning cryptocurrencies will be legalised in the country and not other activities.
Cryptocurrencies have had legal status in Russia since 2020. But payments using cryptocurrencies have not yet been authorised. Authorities in the country have in past expressed fears that cryptocurrencies may be used to fund illegal activities. Kommersant says that if a law is passed, it may come into force in latter half of 2022 or first half of 2023
However, the report suggests that transactions made using cryptocurrencies that amount to more than 600,000 rubles (about $8,000) may get declared illegal.