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Moscow to Consider ‘Legalizing Cryptocurrency Trading’

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

The plot continues to thicken for cryptocurrency investors in Russia – after a senior finance ministry official appeared to open the door to legalizing crypto-trading.

Source: iStock/ANGHI

Per news agency Interfax, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev stated last Friday, “The government may make it legal to buy and sell, but not pay using cryptocurrencies.”

Moiseev also added that Moscow was also prepared to “talk about the possibility of organizing exchanges and cryptocurrency sales.”

However, the deputy finance minister also left the door open for all sorts of options, ranging from a trading cap to a possible crackdown. He remarked,

“We now need to determine how much cryptocurrency citizens should be able [to trade]. There is a range that runs from total prohibition to unrestricted purchases.”

For the Russian crypto-community perhaps the most positive part of Moiseev’s statement was the confirmation that the country’s central bank is currently in discussion with the finance ministry on the matter. Central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina – a former aide to Vladimir Putin – is thought to be one of the country’s leading crypto-skeptics.

Moiseev stated that he was also in talks about the proposed crypto legalization with the Russian Federal Security Service.

The wait continues for Russia’s forthcoming package of cryptocurrency legislation, with parliamentarians last month “postponing” the second reading of three bills, claiming that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism guidelines had caused the bills to get “stuck.”

Last week, Russian financial leaders also claimed they would close the door to Facebook’s forthcoming Libra project.