Using cryptocurrency debit cards to pay for goods and services does not contradict Russian law, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev was quoted as saying by local media. He believes these transactions are legal as the seller receives the money in Russian rubles.
Buying Coffee With Crypto Card Is Not Against the Law
The Russian Ministry of Finance receives a lot of queries about digital coins and their uses, Moiseev admitted during the Gaidar economic forum, an annual event that brings together politicians, academics and businessmen to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the country. He gave an example with a person who was prosecuted for paying his bill in a café with a payment card connected to a cryptocurrency account.
The ministry gave his opinion that the transaction was completely legal, as the cryptocurrency was initially converted to dollars and then to rubles. The café eventually got the money in Russian fiat currency which is in full compliance with the Russian law, the official explained during the conference.
“You can pay with these cards legally. What shouldn’t be done is to maintain a foreign account without notifying the tax service and reporting regularly the movement of funds. You’ll be responsible for that under the Code of Administrative Offenses,” explained Ivan Tikhonov, founder of the crypto news outlet Bitsmedia.
A number of crypto debit cards are currently available in North America and Europa. They are usually integrated with cryptocurrency wallets and payment platforms that allow instant conversion to fiat money and both online and in-store purchases as with any other bank card.
Cryptocurrency Not a Pyramid Anymore
During the forum, Alexei Moiseev also said that the crypto industry has changed in a positive direction. Cryptocurrencies don’t have the signs of financial pyramids anymore, he noted. The deputy finance minister added that the anonymity of digital assets and blockchain transactions is an illusion. He was quoted by News.ru as saying.
The financial pyramid element was something I used to talk about before, for which I was repeatedly ostracized. But I think that now there are no signs of it, in my view.
Cryptocurrencies, or digital financial assets as they are described by Russian institutions, remain unregulated in the country. The Russian parliament is expected to adopt at least three laws pertaining to the crypto sector this spring. The term “cryptocurrency” is not in the draft texts of the regulatory framework but a ban is not mentioned either. Russian lawmakers recently broadened the definition of “digital financial assets” to cover cryptocurrencies and tokens. The update came after pressure from industry organizations and was supported by the Finance Ministry.
“Money surrogates” are illegal in Russia, where the ruble is the only legal tender. That applies not only to decentralized digital coins but also to other fiat currencies such as the U.S. dollar. However, dollar bank cards are accepted for payments as the amount is always converted to rubles during the transaction.
Crypto Viewed as Potential Global Currency
The Russian government is likely interested in cryptocurrencies as an alternative to the greenback. The recent claims by an economist from the state-controlled Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (Ranepa) that Moscow will soon invest heavily in bitcoin have been refuted by officials. Nevertheless, Ranepa’s Rector Vladimir Mau shared his opinion that digital currencies have a future and “huge development perspectives.”
Quoted by Tass, Mau said cryptos could become one of the elements of a new global currency system. “10 years ago, at the beginning of the current structural crisis, we talked a lot about post-crisis currency configurations: the yuan, SDR, strengthening the role of regional reserve currencies. Later, cryptocurrencies appeared and they must be part of this discussion,” emphasized the head of the presidential academy which is hosting the Gaidar forum. The academic added that the dollar is losing trust because of the internal political situation in the U.S.
What do you think about the future of cryptocurrency payments? Are you using a crypto debit card? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.