Russia has finally taken a side in the crypto debate.
After a heated battle between the Central Bank, which proposed to ban crypto, and the Ministry of Finance, which preferred to regulate it, the latter scored a net victory (not without help from President Putin who made a point earlier saying “the Central Bank does not stand in the way of technical progress”).
⚖️ This week Russian Government announced that an agreement on the future of crypto in Russia has been reached, and a draft of a bill will be submitted by February 18th.
? Key takeaway : crypto will be treated similarly to foreign currencies.
This is a big breakthrough, which will make Russia one of the few countries that do not treat crypto as an asset, but as a currency – and this could potentially have a big legal impact.
Crypto circulation will be strictly controlled, though:
➡️people and businesses will have to be identified and transact via licensed crypto service providers
➡️transactions over 600’000 RUB ($8000) must be declared; otherwise they could be considered a criminal offense
➡️those who illegally accept crypto as payment will incur fines
As noted in the government’s report on crypto, Russians have opened over 12 million crypto wallets, which contain over $26 Bn worth of crypto. Other sources have given even more impressive numbers: payment solution Triple A estimated that over 17 million of Russians (12% of the total population) own crypto, while Bloomberg has recently reported that the Russian crypto ownership might neighbour $221Bn.
Whatever the real figures, though, it is clear that Russia is a country that can profit hugely from embracing crypto:
❄️surplus energy and vast cold regions are good for mining,
??skillful IT engineers could develop Russian crypto industry, and of course crypto could be a means to escape the dollar standard and bypass the sanctions ?
Another country made its choice. How many more to trigger a FOMO?