Sanctions and international pressure may be driving the adoption of cryptocurrency in Russia, according to Yuri Myshinsky, the president of the Digital Transformation Association. Myshinsky noted that the country’s relationship with cryptocurrencies has been somewhat “contradictory” in the past. However, he believes that the current measures will likely stimulate the growth of the sector.
Russian legislators are currently working on a bill that would legalize cryptocurrency mining in the country and require miners to pay taxes on their earnings. Many experts predict that this will lead to a significant increase in cryptocurrency mining in Russia. Several national energy producers are also considering setting up data centers for mining cryptocurrencies using gas from oil drilling sites. The Ministry of Finance is eager to provide Moscow with increased revenue by legalizing mining.
The central bank, however, wants to ensure that the cryptocurrencies mined in these operations are exchanged – and do not enter the “Russian economy.” It will likely be difficult for the bank to ensure this. The bank has repeatedly called for a ban on cryptocurrencies, but pro-industry forces within the government remain strongly opposed.
Myshinsky explained that the government originally stated that cryptocurrencies would never be legalized in Russia, but then came “compromises,” which proposed the use of some of the benefits of cryptocurrencies while also imposing regulations. So far, efforts to create legislation for the cryptocurrency sector have been unsuccessful, and discussions on cryptocurrency have not led Moscow anywhere. However, Myshinsky hinted that a more pro-crypto approach may be developing.
He noted that the central bank is now talking about “testing” the use of cryptocurrency as a payment tool in “international settlements.” Myshinsky argued that this showed that cryptocurrencies were becoming an integral part of Russia’s “international financial image.” Despite efforts by the US and the EU, Myshinsky claimed that cryptocurrency offers “a lot of potential” for Russian businesses looking to work with foreign partners.
As sanctions continue to impact Russia’s economy, the adoption of cryptocurrency may provide a way for the country to bypass these measures and access international markets. It remains to be seen whether Russia will fully embrace the use of cryptocurrency in the coming years. However, it seems clear that the country is moving closer to a more accepting stance on this technology.