Russia’s Kaliningrad could become a testbed where cryptocurrencies are legal and regulated

Regulation | February 7, 2017 By:

Russia’s Commissioner for Entrepreneurs’ Rights Boris Titov has proposed testing of cryptocurrencies circulation in Kaliningrad.

Quoted by Interfax, Titov said that regardless of what is decided about crypto at state level, Kaliningrad could become a testbed where bitcoin and its ilk are legal and regulated.

“Cryptocurrency circulation is not prohibited in the Russian Federation at present, although discussions about a ban are ongoing. Having them legally allowed to operate in Kaliningrad Oblast could serve as a compromise; it is a good environment due to its enclave geography.,” said Titov.

This is not the first time that Titov throws his weight behind the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia. Back in July last year, he said that legalization of bitcoin would help Russia attract investments while avoiding sanctions from western countries.

The status of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Russia remains questionable. Bank of Russia’s official stance was voiced in January 2014, with the “Megaregulator” referring to Article 27 of the law “On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation”, which prohibits the issue of money surrogates in the Russian Federation. The Bank of Russia stated that the provision of virtual currency exchange services by business entities will be considered as involvement in suspicious activities. These actions are treated as violations of the laws on anti-money laundering and terrorism funding.