Russia’s Finance Minister Suggests Allowing Banks to Sell Cryptocurrencies 

Unlike the Bank of Russia, Siluanov Russia’s Finance minister believes banks may be licensed to provide crypto exchange services.
Russia's Finance Minister Suggests Allowing Banks to Sell Cryptocurrencies 

According to Russian newspaper Kommersant, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov repeated the ministry’s stance on regulating rather than prohibiting cryptocurrency and urged allowing cryptocurrency trading through banks in a letter written to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Wednesday.

Russia’s Finance Minister’s stake on cryptocurrencies

Unlike the Bank of Russia, which argues for a ban on cryptocurrency, Siluanov believes that banks can be authorized to provide bitcoin exchange services, and that licensing standards for other sorts of enterprises will be implemented as well. Providing crypto services to organizations that aren’t licensed would be considered a criminal act. Cryptocurrencies cannot be used as legal money in Russia, according to both the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia.

The Bank of Russia and Rosfinmonitoring, Russia’s anti-money laundering (AML) agency, must have access to cryptocurrency-related transaction information, and the Transparent Blockchain transaction tracking system must be employed, according to Siluanov.

According to Kommersant, such an approach would bring cryptocurrencies on par with precious-metal accounts in banks and other regulated investment tools, with mandatory know-your-customer and anti-money laundering (AML) checks for buyers, taxation, and regulated fiat on-ramps.

According to Siluanov, Russians own roughly 2 trillion rubles ($26 billion) in cryptocurrency, which accounts for only a small percentage of the country’s total savings. After the proposed new legislation takes effect, this money will need to be legalized, according to Kommerstant. Mining and foreign cryptocurrency trading sites will also require licensing, resulting in an additional 180 billion rubles ($2.3 billion) in taxes, according to the regulator.

Several Russian government groups had previously agreed on a framework for cryptocurrency regulation, which was due by the end of the year. The action was spurred by a study published by the Bank of Russia earlier this month, which called for a complete ban on cryptocurrency trading and mining in Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the Russian government and the Bank of Russia to reach an agreement on cryptocurrency legislation, claiming that Russia has a competitive advantage in the global mining business.