Following a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and financial officials, regulators have decided to officially regulate both the mining and supply of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov has revealed details of last week’s meeting on cryptocurrencies and financial technologies (FinTech) between Putin and major Russian financial regulators and authorities. The meeting with the president was also attended by central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina, deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova, presidential aide Andrei Belousov and Russian FinTech Qiwi’s CEO Sergei Solonin.
“The President voiced the issues related to cryptocurrencies,” Russian news agency TASS quotes Siluanov as stating, with concerns specifically related to anti-money laundering legislation and KYC (know your customer) identification.
Notably, Siluanov stated:
That is why we agreed that the state should control the process of cryptocurrency emission and its circulation. The state should take control over it.
The minister further revealed discussions toward that end in drafting and adopting bills legislating the regulation of mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.
“I won’t speak about specific parameters now but in general we agreed that the state should take a lead in this process and to regulate it on the legislative level,” the finance minister added.
According to Russia’s deputy finance minister Alexei Moiseev, an official who – until a change of tact recently – led the authoritarian effort to ban bitcoin in Russia from 2015, Putin has backed the Finance Ministry’s position on cryptocurrencies.
Moiseev stated in quotes reported by TASS:
The concepts that we promoted were generally supported. We said that restrictions are needed on purchases and sales, accounts, miners’ taxation and so on.
The Russian Finance Ministry controversially proposed prison sentences up to 7 years for bitcoin adopters and miners in early 2016 with its infamous bitcoin ban bill. The bill never came to pass.
Limiting Cryptocurrency Purchases
Moiseev also told reporters that the Finance Ministry is proposing limits on individuals cryptocurrency purchases by individuals. Russian lawmaker and head of the financial markets committee at the Russian Parliament Anatoly Aksakov proposed the regulatory draft bill to contain a maximum limit of 100,000 rubles (approx. $1,750) with a figure of 600,000 rubles ($10,370) also under consideration.
Yes, there is such an idea, we support it. We should discuss the amounts. We should look at international practice.
According to finance minister Siluanov, the bill to regulate cryptocurrencies in Russia ‘will be ready’ by the end of the year. The bill will enter the State Duma – the lower state of the Russian Parliament for due process before it is published as law.
Russia joins China, Japan and Australia among other nations in making noteworthy regulatory moves for the cryptocurrency space this year. While Russian authorities work out details of the upcoming regulatory bill, Putin has also ordered financial officials to explore and ultimately issue Russia’s very own state cryptocurrency, the cryptoruble.