The Russian central bank allegedly said it wants to ban investments in cryptocurrencies in the country, seeing risks to financial stability in the rising number of crypto transactions.
The country’s financial kingpin did give digital currencies legal status in 2020, but it prohibited using them as a means of payment.
However, the chairman of the Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, said there was a very tough approach to the complete prohibition of cryptocurrencies, such as acquisition or ownership.
“There exists an approach where there must be appropriate crypto exchanges, where everything is legalised, transparent, and understandable to regulatory bodies,” he said.
“It would be easier for the Federal Tax Service of Russia to tax such exchange transactions.”
For now, Russian authorities prioritise the launching of a CBDC ruble and have enacted tough crackdowns on the private crypto sector, including banning mutual funds from investing in Bitcoin (BTC).
Most recent figures, however, suggest that Russians transact about $5bn each year in cryptocurrencies and that cryptocurrencies are a hedge for 46% of Russian retail investors.
According to a survey, cryptocurrency is the primary source of income for 12% of the Russian-speaking crypto users, and more than 90% of the respondents expressed their desire to use digital coins as a means of payment.
Russia can boast many prominent names in the crypto world, including Vitalik Buterin and Igor Barinov.
Some of the other names associated are Aleksander Ivanov, founder of the Waves Platform; Sergei Chekriy and Yury Mukhin the two Russian entrepreneurs behind I-chain, while Alex Fork is the CEO of Fintech firm Humaniq.
Some of the most popular Russian cryptocurrencies, which need not be originated from Russia are:
Bitcoin is being widely used in Russia – 40% of the participants view cryptos like Bitcoin as a good long-term investment. People already can pay with Bitcoin for some hotels and restaurants and also cars and furniture, meaning it is being used as a payment medium.
According to a study by big data platform Brand Analytics, Bitcoin was the most popular cryptocurrency in Russia in 2021, outpacing coins such as Tether (USDT) and Litecoin (LTC) in terms of social media mentions.
Cryptocurrencies have been growing increasingly popular among Russian investors in recent years, with 77% of Russian investors preferring Bitcoin to gold in a survey last year.
Ethereum is the creation of Russian-born Vitalik Buterin and is one of the esteemed cryptocurrencies in the country.
Russia also introduced Ethereum blockchain in the voting system to make it more transparent.
Golos is a Russian cryptocurrency, which is the Russian version of STEEM coin, which is the most popular blockchain-based social network.
It was conceived and developed by Cyber Fund, a renowned Russian cryptocurrency organisation in late 2016.
Litecoin also is a part of the list, which has been extensively used in Russia.
According to analysts, people who cannot afford Bitcoins, get easily converted to buying Litecoins, as both are having similar properties.
Dogecoin became quite popular in 2018 when Russia allowed it as a payment option during the World Cup.
However, with the constant upgrading by Elon Musk, Dogecoin adoption kept rising in the country.