Russia will eventually legalise cryptocurrencies despite central bank opposition, the country’s trade minister said on Wednesday.
Moscow has announced plans to issue a central bank digital currency but until recently has opposed the use of private crypto.
Elvira Nabiullina, the Russian central bank governor, has said the bank cannot welcome cryptocurrency investments, which account for about $5 billion worth of transactions a year by Russians, and has proposed banning trading and mining them.
But Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said that the government and central bank may be moving closer to settling their differences.
Room For Crypto
Manturov was asked at a forum whether he believed cryptocurrency would become legal in Russia as a means of payment.
“The question is, when this happens, how it will be regulated, now that the central bank and government are actively working on it,” he replied.
“But everyone tends to understand that … sooner or later this will be implemented, in some format or other.”
Citing risks to financial stability from the rising number of crypto transactions in Russia, central bank officials said last year they did not see room for cryptocurrency to be used on the Russian financial market.
Manturov said regulations for the use of cryptocurrencies would in the first instance be formulated by the central bank, and then by the government.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell