Russia’s Central Bank may soon allow and regulate transactions in Bitcoin, according to a leading Moscow newspaper.
Change in Attitude
In a possibly dramatic change of attitude towards cryptocurrency, the Russian Central Bank may soon allow P2P transactions in Bitcoin, as well as other operations with cryptocurrencies, according to Izvestia, one of Russia’s leading news publications.
The Central Bank has historically been more open to Bitcoin than Russia’s Ministry of Finance. Next week, they will meet with financial market representatives to discuss how to approach cryptocurrency as a whole in Russia.
According to a source close to the Central Bank, it is “very likely” that the regulator may in fact be a proponent of cryptocurrency as “the attitude of the Central Bank towards Bitcoin has shifted in the past year.”
The insider also believes that the Central Bank could legalize and regulate some operations involving Bitcoin, particularly peer-to-peer transactions and settlement payments between individuals.
In January, the Federal Supervision Agency for Information Technologies and Communications (“Roskomnadzor” in Russian) blocked access to at least five Bitcoin-related websites, in accordance with the ruling of the Neviyansky Municipal Court.
Meanwhile, the affected websites, such as BTCsec.com and bitcoinconf.ru, which contained information whose dissemination is considered illegal in the country, filed an appeal vowing to fight the ruling.
The Russian Bitcoin community achieved a victory in May, when a court in Yekaterinburg overturned the previous ruling. However, on May 27, Roskomnadzor again blocked access to BitNovosti.com, one of Russia’s most popular Bitcoin news resources, while the other affected websites remained blocked. BitNovosti wrote on its page on the Russian social networking site VKontakte:
“The proposed law to ban information on cryptocurrency is expected to pass in the Duma soon, thus the blocking of ALL Bitcoin-resources is only a matter of time.”
The prediction may now prove to be incorrect, in light of the latest positive and unexpected turn of events. Next week, all eyes will be on the Bank of Russia, as the country’s Bitcoin community may finally receive a clear ruling and a green light from the Russian government.
If Bitcoin gets the go-ahead, Max Keiser says we may have him to thank:
I think I have convinced Russia that Bitcoin is equivalent to Gold and that CBR (Central Bank of Russia) should be loading up on BTC.— Max Keiser (@maxkeiser) June 11, 2015