02 Dec 2022 · 1 min read

Sanctions Increase Crypto Risks for Russians, Warns Central Bank

Source: Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Adobe

The Russian Central Bank has warned that citizens should stay away from crypto, with “risks” on the rise due to “sanctions from unfriendly countries.” And it has followed up with yet another call for a blanket ban on tokens such as Bitcoin (BTC).

TASS, via Finversia, quoted the bank as making its claims in its latest financial stability report. The bank wrote:

“Currently, the risks of cryptocurrencies for investors and the Russian economy are growing due to sanctions-related pressure from unfriendly countries. The [Central Bank] advocates a ban on cryptocurrencies in the regulated financial system. The widespread use of cryptocurrencies is associated with significant threats to the welfare of citizens, monetary circulation, and financial stability.”

The bank added that crypto carries inherent money laundering and terrorism financing-related “risks.”

But while the Central Bank’s anti-crypto stance has been clear for some time, other government organs have taken a much more progressive approach to the matter. This has forced the bank to soften its stance somewhat.

Could Sanctions Actually Force Central Bank to Change Crypto Stance?

TASS added that the Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Moiseev, has claimed that the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have agreed that “in the current conditions,” it would “not be possible” for Russia “to do without” cross-border settlements conducted “in cryptocurrency.”

The Central Bank has confirmed that it has held “discussions” along these lines with the ministry. But it also took the occasion to “emphasize” the fact that it “opposes the legalization of crypto exchanges, brokers, and settlements conducted in cryptocurrency within Russia.”

The media outlet concluded that the lengthy debate over crypto’s legal status in Russia has “taken a new turn” after the introduction of “strict sanctions on Russia in 2022.” It added that the sanctions had severely disrupted the international payments sector.

Politicians’ hopes of regulating the crypto sector before the end of the year appear to be dead in the water, however. Regardless, some are still hopeful that industrial crypto mining may be legalized in the weeks ahead.