The main financial industry association in Russia has urged the authorities to reconsider their position against cryptocurrency investments in the state financial market strategy. The organization insists that crypto investments by Russians should be taken out of the “grey zone” rather than being banned.
Finance industry body urges government to regulate operations with crypto assets
The Russian National Financial Association (NFA) has issued a call to amend the country’s strategy for developing the financial market of the Russian Federation until 2030 in the segment on investments in cryptocurrency, RIA Novosti and Prime reported, citing the proposal. The NFA unites more than 200 active entities on the Russian financial market.
The strategy now states that the Russian government and the Bank of Russia will continue to oppose the use of “alternative cash,” a term often used to describe decentralized digital currencies such as bitcoin. They carry significant risks for citizens, according to the document, and may impede the implementation of macroeconomic policies aimed at creating favorable economic conditions.
The Russian finance sector self-regulatory authority noted that operations with crypto assets remain “in the gray area” despite the fact that Russians have invested in cryptocurrencies large. The organization noted that foreign companies and unregistered brokers receive proceeds from such transactions.
The NFA believes that the option of providing Russian investors with access to digital financial assets through Russian professional market participants, as well as the possibility of creating exchange-traded mutual funds with cryptocurrencies for qualified investors, requires additional consideration.
This suggestion comes after recent reports revealed that cryptocurrency is a popular investment option for many Russians. According to the Russian Association for Crypto Economy, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (Racib), at least 17.3 million people in Russia own cryptocurrency wallets. In December, the Chairman of the State Duma Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, announced that Russian citizens have invested 5 trillion rubles in cryptocurrencies (more than $67 billion).
The Bank of Russia has been a staunch opponent of the legalization of cryptocurrencies in the country and wants to restrict crypto investments by banning card payments to recipients such as digital asset exchanges. However, estimates in the Central Bank’s Financial Stability Overview for the second and third quarters of 2021 put the annual volume of digital currency transactions by Russian residents at around $5 billion annually.
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