Russian Central Bank Official Says His Government Will Ban Crypto Exchanges

News, Regulation | October 10, 2017 By:

In yet another move by governments to restrict free-wheeling cryptocurrency trading, Russia’s Central Bank deputy governor Sergei Shvetsov said that his government will ban access to bitcoin exchange websites.

The stunning announcement temporarily knocked bitcoin trading for a loop. At least one exchange experienced a flash crash that sent bitcoin prices plummeting $600 in seconds. It has since recovered.

Speaking at a Moscow conference, Shvetsov said, “We can not stand apart. We can not give direct and easy access to such dubious instruments for retail (investors). We think that for our citizens, for businesses, the usage of such cryptocurrencies as an investment object carries unreasonably high risks.”

No time frame was set for the blocks. Russian officials have been delivering mixed messages on cryptocurrency. Plans have moved forward to encourage mining and development in the sectors on some fronts, but stray officials have, at the same time, blasted cryptocurrency. There have also been indications that Russia is trying to develop its own digital currency.

Shvetsov is the highest-ranking official to take a cryptocurrency hardline. No time frame was set for the ban, but likely would come sooner than later. What form it will take remains unclear, but likely would involve some form of government exchanges, registration and regulation of decentralized cryptocurrency, with heavy penalties attached for those who do not comply.