Putin’s special representative hints at harsher stance regarding cryptocurrencies

Maria Nikolova

Russia must not permit cryptocurrency circulation and issuance at this point, says Vladimir Putin’s Special Representative on Digital and Technological Development.

There is no law covering crypto-assets, coins, ICOs and virtual currencies in Russia yet and, while lawmakers are discussing the relevant legislative proposals, Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s Special Representative on Digital and Technological Development, has struck a pretty skeptical note about cryptocurrencies.

According to a report by RIA Novosti, Mr Peskov does not support the legalization of cryptocurrency use in Russia at this point. He notes that there is a risk that the country might face another MMM (that is probably the biggest financial pyramid in Russia).

“The Central Bank of Russia, in my opinion, has adopted a rather liberal stance in the area of regulating cryptocurrencies. But the level of risk is so high that this stance could be stricter”, he was quoted as saying.

According to Mr Peskov, the most reasonable approach would be to create regulatory sandboxes that would allow the study and analysis of working on cryptocurrencies.

Let’s recall that, in April this year, the Central Bank of Russia launched a regulatory sandbox that welcomes all entities that develop or use innovative services whose implementation requires regulatory changes. The launch of the regulatory sandbox is in line with the key fintech priorities that the Central Bank has set itself for 2018-2020. In a document, published in February this year, the Central Bank said it planned to transform the Russian digital environment for financial services via the development of new infrastructure, including a platform-marketplace for financial products and services, a platform for the registration of financial transactions and a platform based on DLT.

Despite the Bank of Russia’s cautious position with regard to cryptocurrencies, the regulator continues to be open towards blockchain.

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