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Russian Lawmakers Want to Create a State-run Crypto Exchange

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Igor/Adobe

Russian lawmakers have devised a plan that could see the nation create a state-run crypto exchange.

Per Vedomosti, members of the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, have “begun to develop a draft amendment” that involves “creating a national crypto exchange in Russia.”

The media outlet quoted a “source close to the State Duma” as claiming that talks about the exchange have been ongoing since “mid-November.” The sources claimed that MPs had “discussed” the matter with “market participants” – likely Russian crypto industry players.

One of the MPs – a Duma’s Economic Policy Committee member – confirmed that the draft amendment had been discussed.

Vedomosti quoted the MP Sergey Altukhov, a member of the ruling United Russia Party, as stating:

“It makes no sense to say that cryptocurrencies do not exist. But the problem is that [crypto] circulates in a large stream outside government regulation. This represents billions of rubles worth of lost budget revenue – in the form of untaxed income.”

But significant stumbling blocks could slow the proposal’s progress. Vedomosti’s sources conceded that neither the Ministry of Finance nor the Central Bank attended the meetings.

Instead, the MPs hope to compile their proposals into a document and “submit it for discussion” to both the government and the Central Bank.

Why Would Russian MPs Want to Create a ‘National’ Crypto Exchange?

International sanctions have hit Russian trading firms hard. But some companies have been experimenting with crypto-powered transactions, allowing traders to bypass banks and the SWIFT messaging system.

The biggest wrinkle involved in this, however, is the position of the Central Bank. The regulator has taken a vehemently anti-crypto stance and resolutely refutes the idea of allowing crypto “into the Russian economy.”

But the plan to “create a national crypto exchange” would allow trading firms to pay and receive payments from “foreign partners” without “restrictions.” The MPs envisage the exchange as a facilitator for companies who are trying to supply domestic customers with imported goods.

The idea of launching an “official” crypto exchange is not entirely new in Russia. MPs discussed the idea of allowing the Moscow Exchange to run a crypto trading platform back in June.