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Russian Crypto Regulation ‘May Have to Wait Until 2025’

Russian Crypto Regulation ‘May Have to Wait Until 2025’

Tim Alper

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| 2 min read

Russian Crypto Regulation ‘May Have to Wait Until 2025’

Russian crypto regulation may be delayed until 2025, as decision-makers in the nation prioritize other matters.

Per the media outlet Arigus, the Chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on the Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, believes that the “legalization of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation is only a matter of time.”

However, Aksakov conceded that the “corresponding bills” will be adopted in “2024 to 2025.” This could be too late for some.

Russian Crypto Regulation – Can Moscow Afford to Wait?

In late February, German Neglyad, the Deputy Head of the domestic anti-money-laundering regulator Rosfinmonitoring, called on the Kremlin to speed up crypto regulation rollouts.

Following a Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism (EAG) analysis, Russia’s Financial Action Task Force (FATF) rating was downgraded.

FATF has moved Russia’s compliance ranking for crypto regulation down from “complaint” to “partially compliant.”

Repeated attempts to regulate the sector have failed. The Central Bank previously called for a blanket ban on crypto.

But ministries, such as the energy and finance ministries, would prefer to regulate – and tax – the sector.

The Russian Ministry of Energy.
The Russian Ministry of Energy. (Source: Artem Svetlov)

This has led to a lengthy impasse that Russia can arguably scarcely afford. Domestic companies are already using crypto as a payment tool in international trade.

Russia’s crypto mining business is also booming, despite the fact that crypto mining has no legal status in the nation.

This also means that crypto exchanges are essentially unregulated. Meanwhile, the nation’s P2P market is reportedly expanding rapidly.

Some media outlets claim that up to 29% of Russians aged 22 to 44 own cryptoassets, while the Russian government has estimated that some 10% of citizens have crypto wallets.

Bigger Fish to Fry for Kremlin?

However, lawmakers and regulators appear to think they have more pressing matters to attend to.

They have prioritized the rollout of pilots and legislation governing digital financial assets and the Russian CBDC, the digital ruble.

Aksakov appears to be unmoved. He is confident that Moscow will address the matter of Russian crypto regulation in due course. The media outlet added:

“Politicians have come to a consensus about the promise of blockchain technology. There is no longer any talk of banning cryptocurrencies.”

But the outlet also noted that Aksakov “planned to legalize cryptocurrencies in Russia as early as 202З, but [his] deadlines are constantly shifting.”

A “lack of a legal framework for crypto mining,” the outlet concluded, costs the Treasury “billions of rubles in tax revenue every year.”

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