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Russian government bodies, including the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, and the anti-money laundering agency Rosfinmonitoring, have recently reached a consensus on regulating cryptocurrencies. This breakthrough could finally resolve the long-standing crypto impasse in Moscow and lead to the establishment of regulations for the crypto sector. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) previously criticized Russia for its insufficient regulation of virtual assets and cryptocurrencies, prompting the call for fast-tracking crypto regulations. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank have been in disagreement over crypto policy for years, but recent positive responses from ministries regarding legalizing industrial mining and using crypto for international payments have been reported.

Miners in Russia have been advocating for their industry to be placed on an official register of licensed business activities, which would allow them to contribute millions of dollars in taxes annually. They believe that nurturing the crypto mining industry could help Russia become the world’s largest crypto mining power, surpassing the United States. The Ministry of Finance is now reportedly drafting a new bill that will address issues related to crypto mining. Previous attempts to create a crypto bill in 2022 failed due to disagreements with the Central Bank, which proposed a China-style ban on most crypto-related activities. However, there is hope for consensus as the bank and Rosfinmonitoring are consulting with the Ministry of Finance on the draft bill.

The draft bill being developed by the Ministry of Finance is expected to cover various aspects of crypto mining, including how miners should handle their coins. The Central Bank has previously insisted on miners swapping their coins for fiat on overseas crypto trading platforms, a proposal that has been met with criticism from law enforcement agencies due to concerns about money laundering. Despite this, there is optimism that a bill on the regulation of cryptocurrencies could be considered by the State Duma in the current session. The Ministry of Finance has also dismissed the idea of banning crypto mining, highlighting the importance of legalizing and regulating the industry to prevent illicit activities.

The Russian government’s efforts to regulate the crypto sector come at a time when there are delays in payments for crude oil and fuel by Russian oil firms due to increased wariness from banks in China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates regarding US secondary sanctions. Despite these challenges, there is a growing consensus within Moscow on the need to establish regulations for cryptocurrencies. This shift in policy could have significant implications for the crypto industry in Russia, potentially paving the way for more transparency and oversight. As government bodies and agencies work towards finalizing the regulatory framework, stakeholders in the crypto sector are hopeful that the industry will finally receive the legal recognition and support it has been seeking.

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