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Although crypto payments are currently prohibited in the country, Russians are permitted to purchase and trade digital assets such as Bitcoin.
While Russia continues to impose a ban on cryptocurrency payments as part of a law that went into effect in January, the country has no plans to completely prohibit trading by its citizens at this time.
According to a report from the Russian news agency Interfax on Oct. 12, Alexey Moiseev, the Russian Federation’s deputy finance minister, believes Russian citizens will continue to be able to buy and use cryptocurrencies outside the country on foreign exchanges without fear of legal repercussions at home. Although cryptocurrency payments are currently prohibited in the country, Russians have been permitted to purchase and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC).
“Russian citizens can have a wallet open outside the Russian Federation, but if they operate within the Russian Federation then they will be subject to bans, I think, for the entire foreseeable future, due to our financial sovereignty,” said Moiseev.
The deputy finance minister went on to say that lawmakers still needed to define digital currencies and blockchain technology properly in Russia’s civil code. According to the Russian government, accepting Bitcoin as an official currency would have a negative impact on the country’s financial and economic system.
Russia’s stance contrasts with that of China, where financial and regulatory institutions have issued anti-crypto statements and policies on numerous occasions. The People’s Bank of China recently declared that all cryptocurrency transactions in the country were illegal, and miners in several provinces fled when faced with a crackdown on their operations.
Certain Russian officials, however, have stated that using a digital rouble issued by the country’s central bank would not pose the same financial risks as BTC and other cryptocurrencies. Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, said last year that a Russian central bank digital currency could become an integral part of national settlements by 2024.