- The Russian Chamber of Commerce has called for the government to make Bitcoin mining a legitimate business
- The Ministry of Finance has also called for banks to be allowed to trade Bitcoin
- The Central Bank of Russia proposed an outright on crypto use and mining ban two weeks ago
The Russian government is looking to double down on its cryptocurrency regulation efforts, with the Ministry of Finance and the Chamber of Commerce both making positive moves in the sector in recent days. Russia threatened to ban crypto use and mining just two weeks ago, but in response the Chamber of Commerce has called for Bitcoin mining to be classed as legitimate business while the Finance Minister said that banks should be allowed to trade Bitcoin.
Make Bitcoin Mining a Business, Says Chamber of Commerce
News agency TASS revealed yesterday that Sergey Katyrin, the Head of the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, recently sent a proposal to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov that Bitcoin mining should be categorized as being equivalent to business in order to move it out of the ‘gray zone’. This would legitimize the practice while at the same time clearing up matters of taxation and “defuse tension on matters of illegal electricity use”.
Katyrin added that it was also worth studying the experiences of countries where “cryptocurrency is a digital expression of value and is not a means of payment” and making further determinations on the “legal status of cryptocurrency as a payment instrument”.
Finance Minister Wants Banks to Trade Crypto
Interestingly, the same day that Katyrin was writing to Siluanov about Bitcoin mining, the Finance Minister was himself writing to Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin reiterating the ministry’s belief that regulation of cryptocurrencies was preferable over a blanket ban, according to Russian newspaper Kommersant.
Siluanov proposed granting some Russian banks a license that would give them the right to facilitate bitcoin trading, making them de facto Bitcoin exchanges. This would in turn grant cryptocurrencies the status of investment assets, putting them in the same bracket as cash transactions and transactions with exchange instruments, creating a “white” market.
The positive noises coming out of Russia are a far cry from two weeks ago when Russia’s central bank proposed banning the use and mining of cryptocurrencies on Russian territory, and there is now real hope within the country that Bitcoin adoption is a real possibility.