Russia’s upper house, the Federation Council, is monitoring crypto – but a key politician claims that tokens may “have a future.”
Speaking to Ura.news, the deputy chair of the Federation Council’s Committee on Budget and Financial Markets Elena Perminova, stated:
“Cryptocurrencies today seem to be on a swing – they are constantly rising and falling [in price]. Probably, there is a future for them. Probably, they will amount to something.”
But the senator followed up with some more familiar-sounding, and more guarded language, as well as warnings for the sector. Perminova stated:
“However, I don’t see them as [becoming] an official currency in the government’s settlements yet.”
She added that the Federation Council is now “analyzing” the role of “cryptocurrencies in the financial market.”
“We study [crypto], and collect analytics on this. We collect all information. But I want to say again that we see very serious volatility. The time will come for us to will deal with this issue in a serious manner.”
This final statement may have been a suggestion that regulation will be forthcoming – although draft laws pertaining to crypto remain firmly in the pipelines in Russia. Pro-crypto and industry forces in the government have found themselves at loggerheads with the staunchly anti-crypto Central Bank.
Last week, the Central Bank’s governor, Elvira Nabiullina hit out at crypto, stating that “no responsible government” would allow the spread of crypto in the country, reported Tass.
But parliamentarians are increasingly turning away from the Central Bank’s stance in favor of more lenient policies. While the bank is still calling for outright bans, late last week, the Speaker of the State Duma (the lower house) Vyacheslav Volodin announced the imminent creation of a working group to discuss the issue of legalizing cryptocurrency mining.
The Speaker’s move was a response to the drive from the MP Andrei Lugovoy, who told the Duma that miners were raking in annual profits worth some USD 2bn, but were currently allowed to do so tax-free in Russia, due to crypto’s lack of legal status.
Scores of Chinese crypto miners are thought to have set up shop in Russia after a crackdown in September forced miners in the country to shut down their rigs.
Meanwhile, in an interview with RBC, the Federal Tax Service chief Daniil Egorov stated that his agency was “now quite closely engaged” with crypto, and understood that it was a “settlement system” that has the power to “create quite a significant amount of erosion” for the Russian “tax base.”