Cryptocurrency has always had a love-hate relationship with Russia. President Vladimir Putin called for an effective ban on the use of digital assets as a mode of payment for goods and services on July 16.
Russia’s legal stance on Cryptocurrency
Legally, non-fungible tokens, also called NFTs, and cryptocurrencies will no longer be accepted as modes of payment for any goods or services. However, Russians can still sell, exchange, buy, or pledge these digital assets in the country.
Putin’s views on Cryptocurrency over the years
Back in 2015, Putin first commented on Bitcoins as something that cannot be dismissed. This statement was considered a sign of acceptance of cryptocurrencies by Russia.
Cut to 2017, Putin expressed that digital assets were risky and started pushing for regulations. In 2019, lawmakers in Russia faced a deadline from the President to immediately regulate cryptocurrencies. Only in mid-2020, did Putin sign two new bills as laws. These laws effectively prevented the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ether as payment modes.
However, in late 2021, to everyone’s surprise, Putin expressed that cryptocurrencies in fact had the right to exist and be used as modes of payment. In early 2022, the central bank of the country advocated for a complete ban on cryptocurrencies in Russia.
Effect of the Russia-Ukraine conflict
The ongoing conflict could be one of the reasons why the new laws make certain exceptions. This is to ensure that Russia can still receive support from other countries in the form of digital assets.