Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announced today that his government will control the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies in the country, according to Russian state media outlet TASS. Though he stopped short of naming the precise control mechanisms that might be put in place, he explained that the effort would include legislation to regulate the mining and circulation of cryptocurrency.
The announcement comes on the heels of a statement by Vladimir Putin on October 10, who told reporters that the “use of cryptocurrencies also carries serious risks” and that the Russian state has a responsibility to protect its people from fraud and other forms of harm. Siluanov said the decision to establish state control in the cryptosphere was made at the same meeting where Putin issued these comments, a meeting at which Siluanov, as well as Russian Central Bank head Elvira Nabiullina and the CEO of the payment service Qiwi, Sergey Solonin, were present.
Siluanov predicted that the forthcoming legislation would address outstanding problems relating to money laundering and identification.
Also on October 11, TASS reported that Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseyev announced his ministry’s support for the idea of a cap on the amount of cryptocurrency that an individual can purchase. He did not specify what that limit might be but said that one should be discussed. TASS also noted that other media outlets have been circulating a story which has Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the Committee on Financial Markets at the Russian parliament, asserting that a draft of a law setting such a cap already exists. Aksakov allegedly said that the cap should not exceed 100,000 rubles but noted that a 600,000 ruble limit is also being considered.