Russian President Vladimir Putin has again spoken about cryptocurrencies, at a financial event in Moscow warning investors of the “high risks” associated with the high volatility of digital assets. But at the same time, the Russian leader also acknowledged that digital currencies may have a future and it is therefore necessary to follow their development.
Already on 14 October, during an interview with US financial TV channel CNBC, Putin had said that cryptocurrencies have their own value, but that they cannot yet be used to settle oil trades.
He had said:
“Cryptocurrency is not supported by anything as of yet. It may exist as a means of payment, but I think it’s too early to say about the oil trade in cryptocurrency. It’s very unstable”.
Bloomberg had immediately commented via Twitter on what seemed to all intents and purposes to be an opening towards cryptocurrency payments by the Russian leader.
Russia and cryptocurrencies
It is worth adding that Russia has always been a country very open to cryptocurrencies, and the central bank is in the process of launching its own digital currency.
In June, Bank of Russia appointed 12 banks that will be involved in the initial testing of the digital rouble. According to the Russian central bank’s forecasts, a prototype digital ruble could be developed by December.
Putin’s words could probably speed up the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Cryptocurrencies have had their first step of regulation with the law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which came into force last January, but many aspects of cryptocurrency activity, such as mining and taxation, still require precise regulation.
The central bank remains fundamentally opposed to the legalization of Bitcoin as a means of payment, although Putin’s words now seem to contradict this idea.
In September, Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov also made it clear that Russia has no reason and is not ready to recognize Bitcoin as legal tender.
Parliament wants to legalize mining
Despite the central bank’s negative opinion, in early November the Ministry of the Economy made it clear that it would probably be appropriate to legalize mining in the country, obtaining an initial favourable opinion from the Duma, the Russian parliament.
According to the Centre of Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge, Russia is the third-largest country in the world, after the United States and Kazakhstan, for the activity of mining cryptocurrencies.
For this reason, according to the Ministry of the Economy, legalization could bring substantial benefits to the entire economy of the country, and would not have any hostile problems, since it could be considered to all intents and purposes a business activity according to the Russian Civil Code.