The Central Bank of Russia is considering a number of ways that can be used for preventing Russians from making crypto investments. Blocking card payments is one of the options on the table, which means they will be blocked to certain recipients, such as crypto exchanges. However, a recent meeting conducted at the State Duma indicates that other government institutions do not maintain the same hardline stance as the CBR. The Russian central bank has talked to numerous participants in the financial markets and has discussed different approaches for restricting crypto access for domestic investors.
Andrey Mikhaylishin, who founded a crypto project that was tested in the sandbox provided by the regulator, stated that one of the options was blocking card payments to cryptocurrency platforms. It is possible that the monetary authority may compel banks to put a stop to transactions associated with certain Merchant Category Codes (MCC). These are four-digit numbers that are assigned to payment recipients, depending on the services they provide. Digital asset exchanges have been assigned the code 6051. A central bank employee informed Mikhaylishin about the discussion of the idea and some publications have also confirmed this news from their sources.
Even though the Bank of Russia had recommended that commercial banks block wallet accounts and cards that are used by suspicious entities, which included crypto exchange service providers, but the authority has not released an advisory report that details its own stance on cryptocurrencies. A working group should review the report, which has been set up at the State Duma and is now considering introducing regulations for crypto-related activities that are not covered under the scope of the law ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ that had been implemented in the country in the start of the year.
The first meeting of the group was conducted on Tuesday at the lower house of parliament in Russia. Deputy Governor Olga Skorobogatova said during the discussions that the regulator was not coming up with a law for banning cryptocurrencies, but she did emphasize the strong opposition of the CBR to the circulation of these digital currencies in the country. Skorobogatova said that the central bank is planning on prohibiting crypto investments. However, not all participants support the hardline stance that the Bank of Russia has supposedly taken against cryptocurrencies.
Herman Neglyad, the Deputy director of the Federal Financial Monitoring Service in Russia proposed that cryptocurrencies should be allowed to circulate, while strict control should be maintained over the financial flows occurring between the traditional financial system and the crypto space. Alexey Moiseev, the Deputy Finance Minister, suggested that crypto purchases should be limited, but only in the case of non-qualified investors. He opined that completely banning cryptocurrencies was no longer a possibility, since almost 10 million Russian citizens already own one coin or the other, according to the calculations of the department.
In fact, banning crypto in Russia would now create a whole lot of problems because this move would make the holdings of the people illegal. Russian residents have made transactions worth $5 billion in this year alone.