Russian Government Abandons State Crypto Exchange, Paves Way for Private Platforms


The Ministry of Finance and Bank of Russia have announced a shift in strategy in Russia when it comes to cryptocurrencies. The two organizations are now focused on creating a regulatory framework for private companies to launch their own crypto trading platforms, which would be monitored by the central bank. The shift aims to facilitate cross-border settlements and provide a means to mitigate the financial sanctions imposed on Russia.

Creating a Regulatory Framework

Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets, stated that the priority is now to regulate the process of establishing new crypto platforms and organizations. The Ministry of Finance opposed the idea of a state-level cryptocurrency exchange, instead advocating for comprehensive regulation of these assets. Consequently, the government will be supporting the establishment of private crypto exchanges for cross-border settlement purposes.

Aksakov also noted that the government will continue to explore and develop additional crypto platforms as a response to the imposed restrictions. The regulation of these private crypto exchanges will fall under the supervision of the Russian central bank. The associated regulatory framework will be outlined in the bill on experimental legal regimes, expected to be introduced by the end of 2023.

Crypto Use in International Payments

Ivan Chebeskov, director of financial policy at the Ministry, explained that the preference was to regulate businesses operating these exchanges and digital assets. The Ministry reached a compromise with the central bank, bringing crypto mining activities under regulation and permitting crypto use in international payments.

Alexey Guznov, the deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, suggested that these platforms would likely function as organizations facilitating interaction between exporters and importers to facilitate cross-border transactions. This could help Russian companies make payments for parallel imports and other services.

The shift in strategy is a significant step forward for Russia when it comes to digital assets and their potential role in boosting economic activity and circumventing sanctions.

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