Russia to Regulate the Cryptocurrency Market, Limiting the Amount Individuals Can Purchase

Recently, Core Media reported on the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) plans to ban cryptocurrency exchange websites, that cited the “dubious” nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to CBR’s first deputy governor Sergei Shvetsov. One day later, following President Vladimir Putin’s call not to create “unnecessary barriers” for cryptocurrencies, the country’s finance minister, Anton Siluanov, stated the country is going to regulate them.

According to Sergei Svetsov, blocking bitcoin exchanges would help protect Russian citizens and businesses from the “unreasonably high risks” they would face if they were to deal with cryptocurrencies. Following his comments, president Putin held a meeting attended by top regulators to discuss cryptocurrencies.

In the meeting, Putin recognized their current relevance but emphasized their lack of security as, if the market is in a bubble, there’s no legally responsible entity. However, at the end of the meeting, Putin cited the number of countries working on the legislative framework for cryptocurrencies, and asserted there was a need for regulations in the country to protect Russia’s citizens and businesses, stating it was important “not to create unnecessary barriers.”

As stated, according to Reuters, Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov said that authorities agreed to regulate the cryptocurrency market, and hope to set out how their regulations will work by the end of the year.

Siluanov added that the President pointed out money laundering cases related to customer identification issues that led authorities to agree to regulate cryptocurrencies. Notably, he stated:

“That’s why we have agreed that the state should regulate the issuing of crypto-currencies, their mining, and turnover. The state should take all this under control.”

His comments echoed those he had offered last month when at a financial forum in Moscow he stated that cryptocurrencies are now a reality, and should be accepted by the Russian government.

The deputy finance minister, Alexei Moiseev, also told reporters that Russia’s Federal Tax Service could be involved, as the country is planning on collecting taxes from cryptocurrency miners.

Limiting the amount individuals can purchase

Russian news agency TASS also reported on the incoming regulations, and added that Moiseyev told reporters the number of cryptocurrency tokens that can be purchased by individuals should be limited, stating that specific amounts are still being discussed and that regulators need to “look at international practice.”

TASS cited unnamed media reports referring that the head of the committee for financial markets at the Russian parliament, Anatoly Aksasov, also stated that the number of tokens individuals can purchase will be limited.

According to the lawmaker, amounts of 100,000 rubles ($1,700), or of 600,000 rubles ($10,370) are currently being discussed.