Russian citizens have exchanged 5 trillion of their national fiat (over $67.5billion) for cryptocurrencies, according to a member of the State Duma. The information was not disclosed by him but he did not specify a time period. Anatoly Aksakov, head of Financial Market Committee, stated this Monday during hearings in the Russian lower house.
Some reports claim that 5 trillion rubles has been invested in cryptocurrency by Russians.
Russia has yet to fully regulate Bitcoin and other digital assets. The law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which came into effect earlier this year, only introduced rules for a few related activities, such as coin issuance. However, key areas like mining and taxation are still outside the reach of Russian legislation.
Aksakov noted that investors and ordinary Russians have been interested in the crypto market. According to the Tass news agency he also stated that it was time for Moscow authorities to make a decision in this regard. He elaborated:
It is important to decide how we will treat this phenomenon.
According to media reports , Russian government institutions have differing views about how to regulate cryptocurrency. Aksakov, quoted by Interfax, stated last week that a variety of approaches are being considered and weighed. These range from legalizing crypto investments and trade to imposing a blanket ban.
Reuters reported that the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is considering prohibiting crypto purchases, despite its current position of ‘complete rejection’. Elvira Nabiullina, Governor of Russia, reiterated her skeptical attitude toward crypto and insists that Russia’s financial infrastructure shouldn’t be used for crypto transactions.
Other officials also voiced their opinion on the subject. Alexey Moiseev , Deputy Finance Minister, stated in October that Russia is not planning to follow China’s lead and prohibit its citizens from purchasing cryptocurrency abroad or keeping it in crypto wallets based overseas.
Estimates cited by Bank of Russia in their recently published Financial Stability Overview Q2 and Q3 of 2020 showed that Russians make around $5 billion annually in digital currency transactions. The monetary authority noted that cryptocurrency transactions pose risks to investors and financial stability in Russia.