Moscow has also set itself a new deadline on crypto regulation, claiming that it will broker a consensus on the matter “within the space of a month.”
“Everything is happening actively in the government. I think that some kind of decision will be taken quickly. My expectation is that [the decision] will be made within the space of a month,” the Deputy Finance Minister, Alexey Moiseev, stated, per Interfax.
However, Moiseev conceded that the “main point” of common ground was that “both we and the Central Bank are against [crypto] settlements. Unfortunately, this will likely provide precious little in terms of grounds for discussion – as crypto settlements have already been outlawed in Russia.
“It is not yet very clear how we will [climb down from our repsective] positions. But we do not want to abandon the option of a compromise in the future. I think that as we work [on the matter], some kind of compromise will be formed.”
The news comes after reports emerged claiming that the Russian government values the domestic crypto market at the USD 214bn mark – a volatile figure that would put around 10% of all the crypto in circulation in Russian hands.
Bloomberg reported that “two sources” described as being “close to the Kremlin” had explained that Moscow has drafted crypto holdings estimates by examining a number of data indicators, including the IP addresses of some of Russia’s busiest crypto exchange users.
As reported, President Vladimir Putin last week stepped in to urge an end to the years-long deadlock between pro-crypto forces in the government and the staunchly anti-crypto Central Bank. With crypto adoption on the rise in Russia and mining-related issues now becoming pressing, parliamentarians had attempted to hurry up the glacial pace of regulatory progress by launching a government-Central Bank-industry crypto working group.
The group is set to meet for the second time this month, but is slated to discuss mainly semantic-related matters relating to crypto terminology and its use in the legal sector.
But Putin’s intervention, calling publicly for the Central Bank and the government to settle their differences and issue regulation, suggests that the executive is now running out of patience with the stalemate.
Prior to wading in with an opinion of its own, the Kremlin appears to have carried out its own investigations into the scope of Russian nationals’ crypto holdings – hence the new calculations. MPs and the Central Bank have previously stated they believe Russians own a collective USD 65bn worth of tokens.
In January, the Central Bank called for a total ban on crypto and crypto mining – an option that was categorically ruled out both by the Ministry of Finance and by other ministries.
Since then, the Central Bank has repeated its calls for a ban on crypto mining, citing environmental and societal concerns.
But some MPs have reacted angrily to the demands, claiming that the Central Bank’s stance risks turning Russia into an international “laughing stock.”
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