The Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev has proposed regulating cryptocurrencies including bitcoin as financial assets or property, to be listed on Moscow’s stock exchange. However, only qualified investors will be permitted to buy and sell them on the exchange.
Proposed Cryptocurrency Regulation
In an interview with Russia 24, a state-owned news channel, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev proposed treating all cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as financial assets. The proposal includes banning non-qualified investors from buying and selling them.
“Cryptocurrency should be regulated as a financial asset,” Vedomosti reported him saying. “There is a point of view that cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is a financial pyramid. Investments [in] such are high-risk. This determines our approach to their regulation.” RBC quoted him saying:
We propose to call it a currency, but regulate it as other property, qualify it as a financial asset and allow only qualified investors to buy and sell them on the exchange.
As a regulated financial instrument, Moiseev said cryptocurrencies would be sold through stock exchanges under the supervision of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation, also known as Rosfinmonitoring.
“According to him, the Ministry of Finance is discussing this issue with the Central Bank and the Moscow Stock Exchange,” Vedomosti reported. In addition, Moiseev explained that it is necessary for cryptocurrencies to sell through the exchange “to provide judicial protection to participants in transactions.”
Ministry of Finance’s Stated Priorities
Moiseev detailed that this approach to cryptocurrency regulation aims to protect the rights of buyers and sellers. “Now people do it at their own peril and risk, they have no judicial protection. This is our first task,” he was quoted by Vedomosti.
The ministry’s second task concerns money laundering. Citing Western Europe and Russia in particular, Ria Novosti quoted him saying “the use of cryptocurrency for illegal operations has become much more frequent because the mechanisms for combating money-laundering are not yet fully applied in all countries to cryptocurrencies.”
Moiseev also explained that it is necessary to sell bitcoins through the regulated stock exchange, so that the regulator will always know “who the seller is, who the buyer is, where these bitcoin accounts have moved.”
The draft proposal containing the regulation is expected to be submitted soon, according to the deputy finance minister.
Do you think the Russian government will support Moiseev’s proposal? What do you think of him proposing bitcoin as a financial asset restricted to only qualified investors? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Eurasian Business Briefing, Financial Times
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