Russia Abandons State-Run Crypto Exchange


Russian lawmakers have decided to abandon plans of creating a state-owned crypto exchange and are instead shifting their focus to establishing rules and regulations that will govern existing businesses. This was reported by Russian news outlets on Sunday, initially broken by Colin Wu on Twitter earlier Monday morning. The translation was linked to the Russian news outlet, which explained that the country’s new plan of action would be to allow private companies to build crypto exchanges.

Ivan Chebeskov, Director of the Financial Policy Department for the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, stated that the ministry did not support the establishment of one national crypto-exchange. Instead, the idea is to “legally regulate the possibility of creating such sites by business.”

Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Russian Lower house committee on Financial Markets, added that instead of creating one national crypto exchange, it is planned to establish rules for the establishment and operation of such infrastructures. He also stated that crypto exchanges would be permitted to facilitate cross-border payments, but he did not specify which ones. Furthermore, he acknowledged that new restrictions were likely to be introduced.

Izvestia, the Russian outlet that published the article, reported that the Central Bank was “probably” responsible for managing international settlements in accordance with the national regulatory framework.

This news was welcomed by private crypto operators in the Russian Federation. Oleg Ogienko, Commercial Director of GIS Mining, commented that this would “allow for more competitive and innovative companies to develop.”

This comes as Russia ranks #137 out of 180 countries in the 2022 Global Corruptions Index, warning people to exercise caution when undertaking activities with the state.

The Russian digital asset market has been an area of fluctuation for authorities for years. Last year, the Bank of Russia proposed a ban on crypto payments and a week later, the Ministry of Finance submitted a proposal for Bitcoin regulations. Later, Vladimir Putin signed a law outlawing payments in digital assets, but only to investigate stablecoins due to sanctions.

Today’s news marks a potential new chapter in the government’s relationship with cryptocurrencies, amidst ongoing Western-financial pressure on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.

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