A PYMNTS Company

Russia’s Parliament Consider Bill To Ban Crypto Payments

 |  June 20, 2022

The lower house of Russia’s parliament is considering legislation that would bar crypto platforms from hosting purchases with crypto assets, Bitcoin.com reported.

According to Bitcoin.com, the backers of the legislation specifically want to stop the use of digital assets for real-world transactions within the Russian Federation. Crypto could still be used for international trade.

In addition to banning purchases with cryptocurrencies, the proposed law would ban the exchange of digital tokens as a means of payment.

Bitcoin.com reported that the bill’s main backer is Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of Financial Market Committee of the legislative body, the Doumas. Bitcoin credited Forklog with reporting Aksakov’s role.

A first vote on the measure could occur in mid-June, according to a Doumas website cited by Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin.com further reported that the backers of the legislation also noted that the Russian ruble is the only legal currency in the country.  The proposed measure would, translated to English, prevent the use of crypto assets as “monetary surrogates” within the Russian Federation.

Russian finance authorities already have expressed opposition to the use of cryptocurrencies, citing them as a threat to the Russian Federation’s financial stability, Bitcoin.com reported. The Russian Federal already has regulated some cryptocurrency-related activity through a 2020 law, Bitcoin.com reported.

Russian Federation officials began publicly discussing using cryptocurrency for foreign settlements in March, Bitcoin.com reported separately. Analysts at the time reportedly said one reason for the government’s flexibility was the need to respond to Western sanctions. Among the restrictions imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine have been limitations on financial transactions with entities inside the Russian Federation.

According to Bitcoin.com, the new proposed legislation was filed in February but has been held up by prolonged discussions around specific details.

Russia’s Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov has a different perspective; he has said cryptocurrency should be regulated rather than banned in Russia. He suggested crypto trading should be legalized through the nation’s banks.