State Duma – the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia – believes cryptocurrencies can be a highly dangerous financial tool for private investors. As such, the authorities intend to implement a regulatory framework on trading with them, a recent report claimed.
Does Russia Need to Regulate Cryptocurrencies?
According to local coverage, the Russian government reiterated its negative opinion on dealing with digital currencies. Anatoly Aksakov – Head of the Duma Committee on the Financial Market – opined that the asset class could bring significant profits to investors. Still, at the same time, it can be highly dangerous, which is why lawmakers should impose specific rules:
“Digital assets are the topic of our close attention, and here we will look at how to maximally protect our citizens when investing in digital currencies and digital assets, because there is a new tool, and it is quite difficult for an unskilled investor.
We certainly need to provide specific legislation to protect a non-professional investor from ill-considered investments in digital currencies.”
On the other hand, Alexander Abramov – a top executive at the Institute of Applied Economic Research – opposed the potential move. According to him, digital assets have positively impacted the Western markets in recent years since people find them an attractive investment instrument. Private cryptocurrencies also successfully compete with centralized government monetary projects, he concluded.
Not long ago, Anatoly Gavrilenko – Founder of the investment banking company Alor Group – opined that bitcoin and the altcoins resemble people’s freedom. Even if authorities ban them, society will always find a way to deal with them:
“Cryptocurrency is a certain symbol of freedom, financial freedom, it is a signal to all regulators that there is no need to bring people into a corner. People will always come up with something that will force them to bypass the bans.”
Russia’s Crypto Environment
It is worth noting that the central bank and the government of the largest country by landmass have a negative opinion, to say the least, on digital currencies.
For example, Elvira Nabiullina – the Chief of Russia’s Central Bank – said in June that investing in such assets is more dangerous than any other strategy. She further warned people that they may lose colossal sums because of it:
“Speculative cryptoassets are surely the most dangerous strategies of all. The Central Bank never gives advice, where to invest, but in this particular case – here [one] should definitely not [invest].”
Sergey Shvetsov – a member of the Bank of Russia Board of Directors – also sounded a similar note of caution. He argued that dealing with bitcoin is so risky that it can be compared to entering a minefield.
This is not what most of the Russian investors think, though. According to a recent survey, around 77% find digital assets the “most forward-looking” investment. Asked whether gold is a better financial tool than BTC, only 9% of the participants answered “yes.”