Russian Central Bank May Be OK with Bitcoin, to Meet Finance Reps

The Central Bank of Russia may have a more tolerant stance on Bitcoin.

The Central Bank of Russia may have a more tolerant stance on Bitcoin, as it is reportedly scheduled to meet with representatives from the local financial industry this week.

This comes after roughly a year and a half of alternating positions on the matter by authorities. In early 2014, officials made remarks strongly implying bitcoin use as illegal but never said so outright. Weeks later, Bitcoin was formally declared as illegal. But in the summer, officials said that “such instruments should not be rejected” while they take a deeper look into the matter.

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But in September, the Ministry of Finance issued a draft bill that would formally ban the use and mining of digital currency, as well as supporting software and information. Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev told reporters, “People can play with their chips, and they can call them money, but they can’t use these surrogate currencies as tender.”

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The proposed ban was reportedly opposed by the country’s Ministry of Economic Development, but more out of concern for non-cryptocurrency businesses.

Earlier this year, the Communications Ministry blocked access to several Bitcoin-related websites, but its action was later overturned.

According to Russian news site Izvestia, sources familiar with the matter indicated that the Central Bank may choose the path of regulation in permitting digital currencies, and not one of prohibition.

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