It will take a significant amount of time until we finally know how Russia truly plans to treat cryptocurrencies. Just in this past week, we have seen more conflicting reports on the matter than ever before. It turns out the rumored ban on cryptocurrencies will not entirely happen, although significant restrictions will be put in place. The government is contemplating introducing purchase limits for all Russian citizens, which is a unique take on things, to say the least.
Another Plot Twist in the Russia-Bitcoin Story
If it were up to Russian government officials, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would be legalized and banned at the exact same time. The fact that so many conflicting opinions regarding cryptocurrencies are out there is pretty intriguing, although it makes the job of coming to a unified solution a lot harder. Then again, it does not appear as if the country’s regulators want to take a unified approach anytime soon. Instead, this conflicting information seems to please some government officials, although it is unclear as to why this is the case.
Anton Siluanov is the Russian Finance Minister. His latest statement is of great importance to the Bitcoin industry in Russia as a whole; that much is certain. According to Siluanov, the new plan of the Russian government is to curb the amount of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies people can buy. Moreover, the government will control the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies. This latter point is pretty vague at best, as it allows a lot of room for speculation.
For the time being, no information has been revealed as to how all of this will be achieved in the future. That’s not entirely surprising, as controlling Bitcoin itself is impossible. Going after the centralized exchanges facilitating the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies is a different matter entirely. However, it is evident such measures cannot be put in place without officially legalizing cryptocurrencies and their associated mining operations, which is a somewhat positive aspect to all of this.
Considering we have seen some very controversial statements regarding cryptocurrency in Russia, this latest bit of news is rather positive. Although there is no real reason for Russia – or any other country – to oppose cryptocurrencies in any way, there will always be proponents and opponents of innovative financial tools. No one denies that cryptocurrencies pose some risks also found in other forms of financial instruments. However, their decentralized nature makes it impossible for any government to exert any real control over this ecosystem directly.
The Russian state has a responsibility to protect consumers and enterprises from financial harm; that much everyone can agree on. The means by which this should be achieved, however, will always be met with a certain degree of scrutiny. It is difficult to embrace financial innovation and focus on regulation at the same time. In fact, the two concepts may prove to be mutually exclusive when it comes to cryptocurrencies.
For the time being, no one can claim anything has been set in stone as far as Russia is concerned. Government officials there have very different ideas as to what needs to happen regarding cryptocurrencies, and the general public is keeping a close eye on these proceedings. Right now, the tone is more positive than negative, but no one knows what next week will bring. It’s an interesting debate, to say the very least.