Russian industrial tycoon Oleg Deripaska is the latest figure to criticize the Bank of Russia’s stance on cryptocurrency regulation in the country.
Deripaska took to his official Telegram channel on Thursday to blast the Russian central bank for pressuring local industry to avoid getting involved into cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
The Russian oligarch pointed out that even small countries like El Salvador have moved into Bitcoin by recognizing it as legal tender:
“Even poor El Salvador, known for being close to oft-mentioned Honduras, has realized the need for digital currencies and taken a simple path, recognizing Bitcoin as a means of payment.”
Deripaska went on to criticize the central bank for its non-committal response to the crypto industry development, particularly the bank’s statements regarding the digital ruble. He argued that the bank should provide a “real financial instrument enabling independence in foreign trade settlements.”
Related: Russian central bank policies stop Tinkoff from offering crypto trading, CEO says
Deripaska — one of Russia’s wealthiest men — is the founder of Basic Element, one of Russia’s largest industrial groups, and Volnoe Delo, Russia’s largest charitable foundation. Since April 2018, the billionaire and his companies have been sanctioned by the United States Department of Treasury, with some of the Office of Foreign Asset Control's allegations including money laundering, bribery and extortion. His latest effort to get an overturn on sanctions has failed, Reuters reported.
By openly blasting the Bank of Russia over Bitcoin, Deripaska has joined other critics including Russian State Duma member Fedot Tumusov, who recently argued that the bank was short-sighted on crypto: “Cryptocurrencies are the reality. Either we will accept it, or we will lose.”