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Russia Will Prohibit the Bitcoin Sale to Individuals

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The RF Ministry of Finance intends to prohibit the sale of Bitcoin to individuals. This was stated by the Deputy Finance Minister, Alexei Moiseev, in his interview for the “Russia 24” TV Channel, Vesti.ru reported.

According to him, the Ministry proposes to equate the cryptocurrencies to financial assets and sell them through the Moscow stock exchange under the control of Rosfinmonitoring. At the same time, only qualified investors will get access to the sale and purchase.

“As for the so-called traditional cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, then, of course, there are different points of view. There is a point that this is a financial pyramid, and, strictly speaking, it’s hard to argue with this. In this regard, investments in such a tool are high-risk. Actually, this determines our approach to their regulation. We suggest, of course, not to call it a currency and not to regulate it as a currency. In the Civil Code there is such a thing as “other property”, i.e. it can be classified as a financial asset and only qualified investors can buy and sell them on exchanges,” – Moiseyev said.
He noted that at the moment the Ministry of Finance is in contact with the Central Bank and the Moscow stock exchange. The first task of the department is the protection of the rights involving transaction parties.

“We want to make sure that qualified investors, who for some reason want to invest in the cryptocurrency and make money on it, will have such an opportunity. But only through the Moscow Stock Exchange in order to, firstly, protect the rights of buyers and sellers so that it is possible to enforce contracts in the event that one of the participants in the contract turns out to be dishonest. Now it is impossible – people who buy and sell [cryptocurrency] do so at their own risk, and, unfortunately, they do not have any judicial protection. “
The second task of the Ministry of Finance, according to Moiseyev, is to put a barrier on the way of illegal use of cryptocurrency.

“We see that in Western Europe and even in our country, the use of cryptocurrency for illegal operations has become more frequent. This is due to the fact that the mechanisms for combating money-laundering in relation to cryptocurrency are not fully determined. Therefore, the second task is the execution of the rule ‘know your client’ so that the regulator in the person of Rosfinmonitoring always knows who the seller is and who the buyer is. Now there are cases when money is laundered using Bitcoin”.
Moiseev expressed the hope that the Ministry of Finance will soon submit this concept to the government and in case of support, will begin developing the drafts of the needed administrative acts.

On the clarifying question of the presenter about whether the Ministry of Finance offers to prevent private investors from selling and buying cryptocurrencies, Moiseev confirmed his intention to limit this opportunity to ordinary citizens.

“I said qualified, not private investors. Just ordinary people – of course not, because it is a very dangerous investment that can lead to a loss of money. Bitcoin may rise in price, but there may also be a devaluation if there is a sharp reduction in the cost of computer power. If computer capacity as a result of technological development becomes cheaper, then Bitcoin will also become cheaper, because it highly depends on the payment for the use of these capacities. Therefore, ordinary people, most likely, can not assess how likely this technical development is. But we have the concept of ‘qualified investors’. The Central Bank regulates this direction, and there are rules for assigning the status of a qualified investor. Such an investor can be an individual, but it must pass certain tests. This is an international practice,” – he added.
Earlier in an interview with ForkLog, the head of the Interdepartmental Working Group for the Assessment of Cryptocurrency turnover risk in Russia, Elina Sidorenko, said that within the legal framework, which introduces cryptocurrencies in the legal field of the Russian Federation, it is planned to create non-state exchange sites for individuals and legal entities. According to her, these sites will definitely be non-state ones, in order to avoid monopoly in the cryptocurrency area.

Also, the head of the legal practice of “Roskomsvoboda” Sarkis Darbinyan expressed his opinion about the lack of regulation of the cryptocurrency sphere in Russia. According to him, in the near future one can expect certain bans in this sphere, since the government wants to control foreign exchange flows.

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