As Russia’s cryptocurrency bill slowly inches forward, a government official has hinted at what may lie ahead when the legislation is finally passed.
According to a report from local news source Interfax.ru, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev told journalists on Friday that among the options currently being discussed is to allow the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments are not on the table, however.
Worryingly for the country’s crypto community, the bill could still see cryptocurrency use banned outright.
Moiseyev said that the finance ministry had met with the Russian central bank and the Federal Security Service, the nation’s security agency, to discuss the bill.
“There is a range [of possibilities] from prohibition to the possibility of purchase,” he explained. “Like with foreign currency, it would be possible to buy and sell [cryptocurrencies], but impossible to use them for payments. After a political decision is made on this issue, we will have the responsibility.”
Russia’s bill on digital financial assets was expected to be considered at the plenary session of the State Duma on March 19, but was postponed.
According to the report, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma Financial Market Committee, has said that Russia must adopt a bill on cryptocurrency before the end of this year in order to comply with recommendations from international watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
In related news, FATF announced new standards on Friday that include a controversial requirement that “virtual asset service providers,” including crypto exchanges, pass information about their customers to one another when transferring funds between firms. Its 37 member nations are not obliged to apply its guidance, but non complying countries can be blacklisted, which would be harmful financially.