According to the Russian central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina, the authorities are looking for ways to regulate Bitcoin. However, Russia questions the benefits of legalizing Bitcoin and doesn’t believe that it should be viewed as a virtual currency.
Digital asset rather than a currency
In an interview for CNBC, Elvira Nabiullina explained that she sees Bitcoin as a digital asset rather than a currency, and Russia is looking to come up with a Bitcoin regulation strategy based on this belief.
Nabiullina said that the central bank is currently analyzing Bitcoin and blockchain technologies in order to have a better understanding of Bitcoin internalization with regard to regulation. The government realizes that there are certain risks that come with using cryptocurrencies.
“We don’t think that bitcoin can be considered as a virtual currency. It needs to be regulated like if we were dealing with a digital asset”, – Nabiullina stated in a TV interview for CNBC.
She also added that the central bank has doubts about Bitcoin and it will take time to implement the regulation policies. As of now, the banker isn’t in a rush. Russia doesn’t see any significant advantages of adopting Bitcoin for the national economy.
What triggers legalization?
Not long ago, Bitcoin price has set a new All-Time High of $2,791 U.S. Dollars. Some experts predict a price increase up to $6,000 by the end of the year and the value being as high as $10,000 in a decade from now.
Such price drive and market capitalization of over $40 billion inspires the governments to explore different ways to regulate digital currencies. Additional retailer investments serve as a catalyst for Bitcoin going global.
Japan is the latest and the most successful example of Bitcoin legalization. The Bitcoin regulation policies developed by the Japanese government have significantly boosted the trading. A large amount of all Bitcoin exchanges now takes place on Japanese and Korean markets.
Did Russia change its mind?
Elvira Nabiullina’s statement indicates that Russia is slowly changing its official view on Bitcoin ban. Russia adopting Bitcoin will inevitably affect its price. Another positive outcome will be the further decriminalization of Bitcoin transactions.
At this point it is hard to tell which scenario will be chosen by the Russian government. Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev has recently stated that Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies should be recognized as a legal financial instrument in 2018 as a part of AML management.
The central bank, as well as many other financial institutions, are looking to implement blockchain technologies in order to prevent data tampering and protect important information from unauthorized access.