Kremlin’s proposal for a blanket ban on cryptocurrency has attracted criticism from the likes of Telegram founder Pavel Durov and opposition personnel Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff Leonid Volkov.
Not mincing words, Durov said the proposed ban would destroy a number of sectors of Russia’s high-tech economy. He likened it to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation proposing to throw a baby out with the bathwater. Durov said the ban will hardly stop bad actors.
He believes the ban will inevitably slow down the development of blockchain technologies. The Telegram founder highlighted that emerging technology, like blockchain, improves and boosts the efficiency and safety of many human activities. Durov also acknowledged that governments’ desire to regulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies is natural. But he said implementing a ban will not stop unscrupulous players. It will only put an end to legal Russian projects.
The opposition Alexei Navalny’s close aide, Volkov feels the crypto ban would be like “calling a spade a spade”. Moscow has been contemplating the crypto ban for years. Russia’s Federal Security Service, which has played a major role in calling the ban, says cryptocurrency can be used to finance non-systemic opposition and extremist organizations.
However, Volkov says nothing will happen. He argued that Russians are more likely to buy drugs rather than donate it to The Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), a Moscow-based non-profit organization. The opposition believes that banning crypto is the same as banning person-to-person transfers. Volkov said the Russian government can make it difficult to deposit funds on crypto exchanges, but then the work will be achieved through foreign jurisdictions. And transaction costs will rise.