Explaining the latest stance to state news agency RIA, the bank’s chairman – Elvira Nabiullina – said the decision had been driven by market volatility and, particularly, concerns over cybercrime. “The ruble is the only legal tender in the Russian Federation,” she said. “We continue to believe that cryptocurrencies carry significant risks, including in the field of laundering of proceeds from crime and financing of terrorism, as well as in conducting exchange transactions due to sharp exchange rate fluctuations.”
It was only a matter of weeks ago that Russian authorities were discussing the momentum of its own projects aimed at ushering in a digital financial future. Vladimir Putin himself is understood to be backing plans for a ‘Crypto Ruble’, and the Kremlin was funding a huge crypto mining project to harvest the remaining supply of bitcoin.
However, the BTC market has suffered something of a crash throughout November as it responds to worldwide apathy and a near-constant stream of reports about crime and exchange hacks.
This negative backdrop has, it is believed, prompted Nabiullina to suggest cryptocurrency is akin to gambling in a casino.
“In our opinion, private cryptocurrencies cannot be equated with fiat money and cannot be legal tender,” she added.
“If it is decided to ban cryptocurrencies as a means of payment at the legislative level, we consider it appropriate to support this position.”
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