While Russia continues to ban cryptocurrency payments under a law that took effect in January, the country does not intend to ban commerce by its citizens altogether at this time.
According to a report published on Tuesday by the local Interfax news agency, Alexey Moiseev, Deputy Minister of Finance of the Russian Federation, noted he believes Russian citizens will continue to be allowed to buy and use cryptocurrencies outside the country on foreign exchanges without the risk of legal action at home. Crypto payments in the country are currently banned, but Russians have been allowed to buy and trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
“Russian citizens may have an open wallet outside the Russian Federation, but if they operate within the Russian Federation, then they will be subject to bans, I think, for the foreseeable future, due to our financial sovereignty, ”Moiseev said.
The deputy finance minister added that lawmakers have yet to properly define digital currencies and blockchain technology in the Russian civil code. The Russian government has claimed that accepting Bitcoin as the official currency could have a negative impact on the country’s financial and economic system.
Russia’s position contrasts with that of China, where financial and regulatory institutions have repeatedly issued anti-crypto statements and policies. More recently, the People’s Bank of China declared all crypto transactions in the country illegal, and before that, miners in several provinces fled in the face of crackdowns on their operations.
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However, some Russian officials have claimed that using a digital ruble issued by the country’s central bank would not pose the same financial risks as BTC and other cryptocurrencies. Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma’s financial markets committee, said last year that a digital currency from Russia’s central bank could be an integral part of national regulations by 2024.