Earlier on, the Russian government and central bank was known to have imposed a ban on bitcoin and cryptocurrency information in the country. They even restricted access to websites that contain digital currencies, although this ban was lifted later on. Just recently, the Russian central bank governor said that they would welcome bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Russian newspaper Izvestia reported that a source close to the Bank of Russia said that the central bank may allow, and regulate, some Bitcoin activities, specifically transfers, payments, and settlements between users. However, Russia’s central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina clarified their position in an interview with CNBC.
Russia and Bitcoin
“So far I can’t imagine a situation where bitcoins would be considered a reserve currency, but we are looking at how this market is developing, we are noting certain risks there and we’ve informed the market players that we identify these risks, and because there are many representatives in that particular sector that could be resorted to some dubious operations and transactions,” Nabiullina said. This cautious reply was given when asked if they would accept bitcoin as a legitimate currency or legal tender.
“You know the kind of policy we conduct about dubious transactions, but we are watching over the development of this market and see that for consumers there are certain attractions in bitcoin’s mobility, expediency, low cost, so this is something definitely the market will be welcoming so we will be watching with attention and, if necessary, regulate it,” he added.
Apart from bitcoin, the interview also focused on how Russia dealt with their currency crisis and the massive volatility of the Russian ruble. “These kind of changes to teach everybody a lesson – both the central bank as well as the economic entities, we have to juxtapose to the external conditions as well as to the new central bank policy, which is exactly what is going on right now,” he explained.