Is Russia To Ban Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

Is Russia To Ban Cryptocurrency Exchanges?

It has been claimed that Russia will block access to websites of exchanges that offer crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin after the First Deputy Governor Sergei Shvetsov called the ‘dubious’. This has come from Russia’s Central Bank, with the governor backing this up, saying that his institution will fully support efforts to block access to external websites that are selling cryptocurrencies in the country.  

Despite the financial authorities initially treating any money that was issued by non-state approved institutions as illegal, because they could be used to launder money, they then began to accept the market, but wanted to strongly control it. However; Shvetsov has most recently cited the ‘unreasonably high risks’. He added; “We cannot give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors)” As a result, the Bank of Russia will be working alongside the judiciary to ensure the closure of all of these websites. He has made clear that this will extend to all cryptocurrency derivatives, due to the fact that; “…all cryptocurrency derivatives to be a negative development on the Russian market and do not consider it possible to support it, and will even assume measures to restrict potential operations with such instruments made by the regulated part of the Russian market.”  

The Russian government are overall, very sceptical of cryptocurrencies as a whole, using Bitcoin as an example, saying that because it is an asset that generates high returns very quickly, it indicates that it is a pyramid scheme and not necessary something that can be trusted. This move is not entirely unexpected, with Alexey Moiseev, who is the country’s deputy finance minister, said last month that expected upcoming legislation to feature complete bans on cryptocurrencies. The deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, Dmitry Skobelkin, backed up these views stating; “China doesn’t recognise cryptocurrency as payment and forbids ICOs. Our views are absolutely similar” Moiseev added that regulations could allow only qualified investors to buy and sell the cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin in particular.

References And Further Reading:

  • CoinDesk; Russia’s Central Bank Backs Move to Block Bitcoin Websites
  • Cryptocoins news; Breaking: Russia Will Block Bitcoin Exchange Websites, Says Central Bank Official
  • CNBC; Russian central bank plans to ban websites that offer Bitcoins
  • Reuters; Russian central bank to ban websites offering crypto-currencies
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