Bank of Russia bans mutual funds from investing in digital currencies

Bank of Russia bans mutual funds from investing in digital currencies

The Bank of Russia has continued to restrict investors from accessing digital currencies, this time focusing on mutual funds. In its latest regulatory update, the bank expanded the list of assets that these funds can invest in but prohibited them from offering digital currencies either directly or through products tied to their value.

While Russia hasn’t banned digital currencies—other than as a payment method—it has continued to crack down on the sector, effectively making it inaccessible to more and more investors with each new regulatory directive. 

In July 2021, the bank restricted stock exchanges in the country from listing any financial instruments tied to digital currencies. As CoinGeek reported, it also prohibited the stock exchanges from listing the stock of any company that deals directly in digital currencies.

Now, the central is tightening its grip on the industry. In a statement this week, the bank prohibited mutual fund managers from directly buying digital currencies or offering financial products whose value depends on the prices of digital assets.

The ban applies to both accredited and retail investors. In some jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, authorities have sought to bring regulations that only offer sophisticated digital currency products to accredited investors, a move that hasn’t gone down well. Others like the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority have banned them altogether for both retail and professional investors.

And while the Bank of Russia is only now banning digital currencies for mutual funds, local outlet RBC says that these funds have shunned digital assets all along. The outlet reports that no Russian mutual fund has invested in digital currencies.

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