In a recent interview with Russian news agency Interfax, Bank of Russia legal department director Alexei Guznov addressed his nation’s efforts to complete legislation on digital financial assets. According to him, officials have largely reached a consensus that could result in a ban on cryptocurrency issuance and transactions inside Russia.
The bill received its first reading roughly two years ago and has been undergoing amendments and revisions. Guznov noted that the current version contains language defining digital assets, as well as distributed ledgers.
He also said that the bill “defines the basic infrastructure for organizing the issue and circulation of digital financial assets, information system operators and exchange operators, and what requirements are placed on these institutions and their managers.”
Guznov's most notable comments, however, were in response to a question about the general consensus on cryptocurrency circulation. After reiterating the central bank’s position that cryptocurrency circulation should not be allowed, he said that officials are nearing a consensus on the issue: cryptocurrency ownership may be permitted, but issuance and circulation of the assets may be forbidden:
“But from the point of view of the functioning of the financial system and the consumer protection system, the legalization of the issue, and most importantly, the organization of the cryptocurrency circulation, is an unjustified risk. Therefore, the bill directly formulates a ban on the issue, as well as on the organization of circulation of cryptocurrency, and introduces liability for violation of this ban.”