Bank of Russia to ‘Slow Down’ Payments to Crypto Exchanges, Curb Russians’ Impulsive Investments
he Bank of Russia is still skeptical about the acquisition of cryptocurrency and will not allow Russian investors greater access to crypto markets, Sergei Shvetsov, the bank’s deputy chairman, stated this week. Prime business news agency quoted him. The high-ranking official spoke out at the ‘Banks of Russia – XXI Century’ international banking forum.
We are skeptical of the idea of buying cryptocurrency for investment purposes. It’s risky, different than traditional assets and shows signs of a pyramid scheme.
Shvetsov reiterated that the Russian Federation’s only payment means is the “ruble in all forms” and not any kind of financial surrogates foreign currencies. The financial authority plans to launch a prototype of the digital ruble by the end-of the year. It hopes that the CBDC will help reduce use of cryptocurrencies.
Shvetsov stated that the Bank of Russia was cooperating with commercial banks to delay payments to cryptocurrency exchanges during the Sochi event. Recently, the CBR recommended banks to block wallets and cards used for transactions with crypto exchangers. According to the deputy head of the regulator, this is done in order to reduce impulse purchases of crypto assets. The banker was quoted by RIA Novosti:
We are working with the bank system to slow down payments to exchange offices and cryptocurrency exchanges. This will prevent emotional purchases of these products from happening.
Sergei Shvetsov pointed out that, despite certain governments legalizing cryptocurrency, there are still concerns that this type of monetary system may collapse. He stated that there is a high chance that all of this, due to the high-tech financial pyramid could collapse to zero. However, he also warned that there may be many reasons for this. Officials at the central bank stressed that this was a huge minefield.
Legal Expert: CBR Restrictions Violate Russian Rights
Shvetsov’s comments raised concerns about other people working in the Russian crypto market. Talking about imposing restrictions sends a very negative signal, and the consequences could prove to be disastrous for the country’s cryptocurrency market, Nikita Zuborev (senior analyst at Bestchange.ru), said to Forklog. He also warned:
OTC trading and registration in Russia Federation will be the most affected. This includes users of P2P platforms, exchange offices and OTC trading. The problem will not only affect miners, but also the ability to sell mined coins for rubles.
Andrey Tugarin (Managing Partner at GMT Legal), stated that it would be illegal to limit bona fide transactions in order to purchase cryptocurrencies. The current law “On Digital Financial Assets” allows any citizen of Russia to purchase digital currency (btc), buy it or sell it, and invest in it. Tugarin stressed that this right is applicable regardless of whether or not the buyer qualifies as an investor.
Exmo, which is a well-known cryptocurrency exchange in the region has not seen a decline in deposits from Russian users in recent weeks. Exmo’s chief of business development Maria Stankevich revealed that Russian trades have actually increased on the platform during the recent market correction.