The Central Bank of Russia has signaled its support for any possible ban on cryptocurrency within the Russian Federation, Russian media reports. That news comes in the wake of several weeks in which some observers believed that the country might have been warming up to the technology.
Central bank chairman Elvira Nabiullina told state news outlet RIA that the bank’s position on cryptocurrency was a response to its concerns about cybercrime and overall volatility in the digital currency markets. She also emphasized that digital currencies are not legal tender in Russia:
“The ruble is the only legal tender in the Russian Federation. We continue to believe that cryptocurrencies carry significant risks, including in the field of laundering of proceeds from crime and financing of terrorism, as well as in conducting exchange transactions due to sharp exchange rate fluctuations."
Nabiullina went further, suggesting that the bank believes that privately-issued digital currencies are not and cannot hold the same legal status as national fiat currencies. According to her, the bank would be supportive of any legislative effort to ban cryptocurrency use. “If it is decided to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the legislative level, we consider it appropriate to support this position,” she said.