Russian President Vladimir Putin is not going to crack down on cryptocurrencies as harshly as China has been lately. In a CNBC interview posted on the Kremlin website on Thursday, he expressed his tolerance of digital currencies.
Cryptocurrencies are under increasing scrutiny by regulators around the world because of their frequent use in financial crime and money laundering. Regulatory reasons were also responsible for China’s crackdown on mining and digital coin trading. On September 24, China announced crackdowns to curb illegal activity and financial speculation, resulting in a blanket ban on all cryptocurrency transactions and mining.
According to Putin, cryptocurrency still “has the right to exist and can be used as a means of payment,” but he also mentioned that it is too early to talk about using digital currencies to trade Russian oil and other commodities.
“There are no plans for a blanket ban like in China,” said Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev. In the past, however, the Bank of Russia has repeatedly warned investors that the crypto market is extremely volatile. Russia does not allow the use of crypto for domestic payments, although calls are being made to partially lift this crypto payment ban.
“Too soon” could possibly mean that Russia will not be completely opposed to the use of cryptocurrencies to trade in exported goods or oil in the future. Russia has been looking for alternatives to the dollar trade since the country was sanctioned after the annexation of Crimea in 2014.