According to press reports from Russia, the country’s Central Bank and Government have reached a consensus on making Bitcoin a legitimate payment method. This information was made public on February 9th, 2022.
Russia is yet another country to recognize cryptocurrency and regulation related to this method are in the works. A draft law regarding digital currency circulation within the Russian Federation is expected on or before February 18th. Per the information obtained by the Kommersant, cryptocurrencies will be recognized as an analogue to regular currency. Circulation will also be made possible only when proper identification has been established via a licensed intermediary and/or the banking system.
This development was a bit surprising considering the Central Bank’s request for a complete cryptocurrency ban just a few weeks ago. The ban had been proposed in January 2022 and covered trading, mining and use. If this law is passed, then buyers will only have the right to own crypto and they cannot carry out related activities.
Though cryptocurrency received legal status in Russia as early as in 2020, use of crypto for payments had never been possible. Russia has been very vocal against the use of crypto for fear of illegal uses. According to officials, crypto use could create significant threats to the country’s financial system by destabilizing it. The other fear is that it could threaten the wellbeing of citizens.
The Finance Ministry and Central Bank are working on a bill and/or amendments regarding the adoption and implementation of crypto. Conditions such as transactions over 600,000 in rubles or ca.$8000 would be illegal and punishable. Fines could also be imposed on people accepting illegal payments in crypto. More news on the new bill will be released in a week.