Anatoly Aksakov – Chairman of the Committee on Financial Markets of the State Duma – said the government is not against the creation of a cryptocurrency trading venue in Russia. However, the entity should comply with the central bank’s strict regulations and operate similarly to the Moscow Exchange, he added.
Crypto Exchange in Russia Under Certain Conditions
Even though the Russian government, and especially the Bank of Russia (the country’s central bank), are predominantly against the cryptocurrency industry, many locals are on the opposite corner.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin claimed that domestic investors own more than 10 trillion rubles ($163 billion) worth of digital assets. The total number of the HODLers was estimated to be around 10 million, or 7% of Russia’s population.
Despite the significant interest in crypto, the nation does not have its own exchange, and locals rely on foreign platforms such as Binance, FTX, and Kraken. Shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, though, some trading venues applied certain restrictions. Binance, for example, limited its services to citizens whose cryptocurrency holdings exceeded 10,000 EUR.
Amidst the controversy, Anatoly Aksakov – a top executive at the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia (State Duma) – hinted that the launch of a domestic crypto exchange might be on its way. Nonetheless, he opined that such an organization should be monitored by the central bank and provide services under the latter’s “strict requirements.”
He also thinks that a potential Russian crypto platform should be based on the standards of the Moscow Exchange (the country’s largest exchange that operates trading markets in equities, bonds, derivatives, and precious metals):
“And this division, which will work within the framework of a respected organization with great traditions, accustomed to actively interacting with the Central Bank, in my opinion, will best of all cope with the task of carrying out operations with cryptocurrency.”
Crypto Should not Undermine the Ruble
Regulations in the cryptocurrency sector have been a highly controversial topic in Russia in the past few months. While the central bank insists on a total ban on all digital asset endeavors, the Ministry of Economy thinks applying rules to the industry is a more appropriate step.
Last month, Aksakov proposed a bill that outlines digital assets as inapplicable for a payment method. In his view, this approach will preserve the supremacy of the country’s national currency – the ruble:
“The ruble is the official monetary unit (currency) of the Russian Federation. The aforementioned article sets a prohibition against the introduction of other monetary units or monetary surrogates on the territory of the Russian Federation.”