Russia has announced it may “recognize” Bitcoin fully in 2018, subject to full transaction monitoring.
In line with recent statements by the country’s central bank, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev said in an interview quoted by Bloomberg that a wholly legal position was to be taken on cryptocurrency in the future.
Previously, Bitcoin and altcoins had languished in a regulatory gray area, with both users and entities operating in Russia threatened with takedowns and even jail time.
In October, state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked access to peer-to-peer marketplace LocalBitcoins nationwide, developers responding by setting up a dedicated mirror site, LocalBitcoins.net.
“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain,” Moiseev said about the government’s latest position.
“If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations.”
While cryptocurrency is still yet to receive official status enshrined in law, a decision on whether it will be treated as an asset, cash or security is due in “mid-2017,” Bloomberg reports.
In January, Bank of Russia Deputy Olga Skorobogatova said that authorities “would not like to concretely block anything” and instead “understand how to approach [cryptocurrency] and from this generate a basis for regulation.”