It is a rare occurrence that the Bank of Russia publishes a press release on Sunday. But yesterday it did and the press release concerned financial market innovation and blockchain, in particular.
The “Megaregulator” press release was published just a couple of days after it became clear that a bill penalizing Bitcoin use is drafted by Russia’s Ministry of Finance and will soon be submitted with the State Duma, that is, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament. The bill envisages very tough penalties, including prison terms for dealing in crypto currencies.
Early in 2014, the Bank of Russia slammed Bitcoin, calling it “money surrogate” and stating that its use should be treated as a means of financing terrorism.
The latest press release from the Bank of Russia, however, seem to be seeking to soften the stance of the Russian regulator regarding crypto currencies… or at least, the technologies that stand behind such currencies.
The Bank of Russia confirms that it has formed a working group for examining the benefits of innovations in the financial area, including blockchain technologies. This is the first time that the regulator says something about this working group on its website. The working group will conduct meetings with industry representatives for discussing the use and application of innovative financial technologies.
We are curious to see how the Ministry of Finance and the central bank will align their positions regarding crypto currencies.
You can view the official press release on the Bank of Russia’s website by clicking here.