Bitcoin Sales in Russia Will Not Be Subject to Licensing Obligations

News and Analysis

According to Alexei Moiseev, deputy minister for Russia’s ministry of finance, the department has no plans to issue licenses for bitcoin sales.

“There is every likelihood that bitcoin sales will take place under a general brokerage license which banks may have,” he told Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Mr. Moiseev noted that the international practices were moving towards cryptocurrency regulation, which justifies ensuring protection against money laundering and consumer protection.

“International practices took a different approach. There’s perplexity in the world when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Leading nations have no idea what to do next. However, the most popular idea on the table is the one we have supported. Cryptocurrencies have to be regulated just like any other financial product. So, it’s about having AML measures in place, and introducing KYC rules. Second, it’s about ensuring consumer protection. That’s the direction we’re going to take. Hopefully, the government supports us,” he stated.

Mr. Moiseev stressed that bitcoin ban plans are not on the table.

“Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have to be introduced into the legal terrain and legalized. It has to be a product one would normally buy in a bank. However, it’s more of a market development issue. If there’s a platform more efficient for that purpose than a bank, it should be it. We don’t intend to issue licenses for bitcoin sales,” he added.

Earlier this month, Elina Sidorenko, the head of the the Russian Central Bank’s working group on cryptocurrencies, said the Russian parliament is preparing a bill that, if passed, may legalize e-cash and establish legal grounds to open regulated cryptocurrency exchanges.

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