The Russian government and its Central Bank could soon start developing regulations and guidance on how digital currencies are to be approached in the world's biggest country.
This was announced by the first senior vice president of the Bank of Russia, Georgy Luntovskyi, at the International Banking Congress as reported by the Russian news agency Itar-Tass. Mr. Luntovskyi emphasized that various approaches towards Bitcoin regulation exist across many countries. For example, it was recently legalized in California while remaining completely banned in China. Luntovskyi also commented on the prospects of Bitcoin in Russia:
“We are proponents of a diligent approach towards Bitcoin. We are monitoring this situation in cooperation with the Bank of International Settlements. It is impossible to deny this instrument, which might have a future.”
In addition, he also mentioned that precedents exist for using such payment systems on the black markets for illegal drugs and weapons. “We will reach a decision on Bitcoin as we get more information,” he said. “Right now, we are studying this issue in cooperation with the government. It is possible that we will come to a decision with regards to legislative regulation at a later date.”
Cointelegraph previously reported on why Russia might actually be a haven for Bitcoin due to the government's de facto "hands off" approach. While earlier this year, the Central Bank of Russia issued a warning on using virtual currencies when the Bank announced that transactions involving Bitcoin on so-called “virtual exchanges” are speculative in nature, present a lot of risk and are subject to price volatility. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how the Russian government will act one Bitcoin down the line. at the very least, a ruling will clear up the air of uncertainty around digital currencies in the country.