The Russian central bank proposed Thursday cracking down on cryptocurrencies, a move which if adopted could disrupt the burgeoning virtual money sector as Russia is one of the largest crypto-mining nations in the world.
Russian authorities have for years criticised cryptocurrencies over fears they can be used for illegal activities and have called for regulation.
Authorities granted cryptocurrencies legal status in 2020, but their use in payments was never authorised.
The Bank of Russia called Thursday for reinforcing the ban on cryptocurrency payments, banning cryptocurrency mining, and tightening laws on trading virtual money.
"The use of cryptocurrencies creates significant threats to the well-being of Russian citizens and the stability of the financial system," a report published by the central bank said.
It added that the swift growth of cryptocurrencies is driven by "speculative demand" that leads to the forming of a "bubble".
The report added that cryptos resemble financial "pyramid schemes" because their value increases with the emergence of new players on the market.
It estimated the annual transaction volume of Russian citizens at $5 billion (roughly Rs. 37,270 crore).
Bloomberg earlier cited sources as saying that Russia's domestic security agency, the FSB, had lobbied central bank head Elvira Nabiulina for a ban.
The FSB cited concerns over Russians frequently using the hard-to-trace transactions to support "undesirable organisations", such as opposition groups.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article.
Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.