Russia: Digital currency payments still banned, but trading allowed

Many Russian investors are enthusiastic about digital currency. A poll conducted in August 2021 by the foreign exchange market found that about 77% of respondents said that their “most forward-looking” investments are digital currencies, including BTC, LTC and ETH.

About 8.8% of respondents preferred gold as the best investment and 14% preferred “familiar national currencies.”

Furthermore, about 77% of the respondents were also considering an investment in digital currency soon, while 23% of respondents said they have never used digital currencies.

In Russia, digital currency payment is still outlawed and the government does not intend to change that soon. The Russian government has indicated that there is no plan to ban digital currency trading, unlike China, but the ban on digital currency payments continues.

What the Deputy Finance Minister of Russia has to say

Russia’s Deputy Minister of Finance Alexey Moiseev pointed out that Russian citizens will still be able to buy and trade digital assets like Bitcoin.

“Russian citizens can have a wallet open outside the Russian Federation, but if they operate within the Russian Federation then they will be subject to bans, I think, for the entire foreseeable future, due to our financial sovereignty,” Moiseev said.

The Deputy Finance Minister added that lawmakers are yet to properly define digital currencies and blockchain technology in the Russian civil code. The Russian government is skeptical about accepting Bitcoin as a legal tender, as they fear it may have a negative impact on the country’s economic and financial system.

Russia’s position contrasts with that of China, where financial and regulatory institutions have repeatedly issued anti-digital currency statements and policies. More recently, the People’s Bank of China declared all digital currency transactions in the country illegal, and before that, miners in several provinces fled in the face of crackdowns on their operations.

However, some Russian officials have claimed that creating a digital ruble won’t have the same financial risks as digital currencies. According to the chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, a digital currency from Russia’s central bank could be an integral part of national regulations by 2024.

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