Russia is not ready for digital currency payments, Kremlin says

Russia banned the use of digital currency payments in July last year, and according to the Kremlin, this law isn’t about to be reversed any time soon. A representative of the highest office in the country reiterated that Russia isn’t ready to make digital currencies legal tender, even as Central American countries make great leaps with this.

Russia’s legislative body, known as the State Duma, passed a law titled “On Digital Financial Assets” in 2020, finally giving digital currencies a legal status in the country. However, on the flip side, it outlawed the use of digital currencies as payment. 

And as state-owned news agency RIA Novosti now reports, the Kremlin isn’t about to change its mind. Dmitry Peskov told the outlet that Russia isn’t ready to integrate digital currencies into its payments systems, much less recognize them as legal tender.

Peskov is the official representative of Russian president Vladimir Putin. According to him, giving this status to digital currencies like BTC or ETH only serves to endanger the financial system, with little benefit. 

He told reporters, “It is unambiguous that Russia is not ready for such steps.”

Peskov has in the past referred to BTC as a quasi-currency, putting it in the same category as other highly liquid assets such as gold certificates and bonds.

Russia’s digital currency space is still striving to find its feet. As it stands, owning or trading digital currencies isn’t illegal as long as they aren’t used for payments. Some lawmakers have attempted to amend the law outlawing digital currency payments, but nothing has come of it yet.

Russia’s central bank, on the other hand, has been fully behind a digital ruble

“I think it’s [digital ruble] the future for our financial system because it correlates with this development of digital economy,” Bank of Russia governor Elvira Nabiullina told CNBC in June. “We will go step by step, because it’s [a] very difficult, technological, legal … project.”

Watch: CoinGeek Zurich panel, The History of Money & The Future of Bitcoin

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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