Tue, 17 May 2022

Russian MPs respond to Bitcoin ban fears

25 Jan 2022, 04:12 GMT+10

The Bank of Russia's proposed restrictions have no found support in other government bodies

The Bank of Russia's plan to put a ban on cryptocurrency is not supported by some representatives of the country's authorities, including parliament, the police, and the Federal Security Service (FSB), two lawmakers have claimed.

According to Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, and Andrey Lugovoy, the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Security and Corruption Control, newly proposed legislation that would effectively stop Russians from using cryptocurrency does not have widespread support.

Last week, the bank announced that spending, transferring, and mining cryptocurrency would be made illegal, effectively reducing it to just an asset without any uses other than the storage of value. All financial enterprises would also be banned from holding crypto.

However, according to Aksakov and Lugovoy, speaking to a Russian online news outlet, the central bank's stance is at odds with the view of the police, the FSB, the General Prosecutor's Office, and the Investigative Committee, as well as parliament, with not a single body coming out in support to the bank's position. According to Lenta, MPs are worried that the newly announced ban "could turn Russia into a laughing stock for the whole world" as there is no practical way to stop the circulation of cryptocurrency.

"In the past, we had a somewhat incomprehensible attitude towards social networks, and we began to regulate them slowly. We banned certain social networks, and you know how that ended," Lugovoy said, presumably referring to the messaging app Telegram, which Moscow famously failed to block despite banning millions of IP addresses.

"In my understanding, from a practical point of view, it is impossible to prohibit the circulation of cryptocurrencies... let those who want to ban it explain to us how they plan to do it from a practical point of view," he continued.

According to Aksakov, the Central Bank proposition will be treated as such, as it needs to go through proper scrutiny and discussion before being put into force.

"The report is not a final document, but material which can be used for starting a discussion," he said. Aksakov is known to be a supporter of legalized cryptocurrency, including mining.

According to the Central Bank, cryptocurrencies are a threat due to transaction anonymity, which means it is a popular option for conducting illegal activities, such as money laundering, and terrorist financing.


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