Russia’s Finance Ministry Proposes Registering Cryptocurrency Miners and Licensing Exchanges

At a meeting of regulators on Monday, the Russian Finance Ministry proposed to register cryptocurrency miners as well as to license exchanges dealing with them. A State Duma Deputy also made a proposal to officially legalize mining in order to tax miners and to only allow banks to exchange cryptocurrencies to rubles.

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Registering Miners & Licensing Exchanges

Russia's Finance Ministry Proposes Registering Cryptocurrency Miners and Licensing Exchanges
Yana Pureskina, Director of the Financial Policy Department.

At the first meeting of the expert council on financial technologies in the State Duma on Monday, the Russian Ministry of Finance presented its recommendations on the regulation of cryptocurrencies. “The Ministry of Finance proposes to register those who extract cryptocurrencies – the miners,” Tass reported, adding that “the office also proposes to license sites where digital currency is exchanged for traditional cash or non-cash money.”

Speaking on behalf of the finance ministry, Yana Pureskina, the ministry’s Director of the Financial Policy Department, was quoted saying:

In order to counter money laundering and terrorist financing, it is important to establish the duty of registering digital currency issuers, the so-called miners, and to license exchange sites to control the exchange of digital currency for fiat, traditional cash or non-cash money.

She further emphasized that the ministry “considers it expedient to start limiting the number of persons who have the right to issue cryptocurrency, legal entities, and individual entrepreneurs,” Tass detailed. This is in order to “protect the rights of market participants,” the director explained.

Proposals for Mining and Exchanging Cryptocurrencies

Russia's Finance Ministry Proposes Registering Cryptocurrency Miners and Licensing ExchangesAt the same meeting on Monday, Martin Shakkum, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Industry Construction and High Technologies, said that “it is necessary to legalize” mining activities because currently “those who deal with them do not pay taxes,” RBC reported.

In addition, he proposed that to only allow banks and financial institutions to exchange cryptocurrencies for rubles and other fiat money. According to him, “these measures will make the turnover of the cryptocurrencies transparent and will enable [the government] to identify their owners,” the publication wrote, and quoted him saying:

I would not like to go the way of introducing a tax on the exchange of cryptocurrencies. But the right to exchange should be provided to those who are under the supervision of Rosfinmonitoring, that is, banks and payment systems.

He noted that cryptocurrency exchanges and initial coin offerings (ICOs) should both be included in the legislation.

Cryptocurrencies and their Derivatives

Russia's Finance Ministry Proposes Registering Cryptocurrency Miners and Licensing Exchanges
Sergey Shvetsov, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia.

At the Russian Derivatives Market forum on Tuesday, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Russia, Sergey Shvetsov, said “Russia’s Central Bank welcomes imposing any restrictions on operations of external websites that offer cryptocurrency sales,” according to Tass.

“We consider all cryptocurrency derivatives to be a negative development on the Russian market and do not consider it possible to support it,” he added. This followed the central bank’s efforts to stop one of the country’s major clearinghouses from facilitating the clearing and settlement of cryptocurrency derivatives.

As for cryptocurrencies themselves, the finance ministry’s position is “consistent with the opinion of the Bank of Russia,” the publication detailed. The head of Russia’s central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, has repeatedly said that the bank does not support the legalization of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate means of payment. At the Monday meeting, Pureskina concurred, stating that “regarding the use of cryptocurrency as a payment medium, we are rather reserved – rather, on the prohibition position.”

What do you think of the proposals by these Russian regulators? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Yana Pureskina, and Sergey Shvetsov.


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