A simmering dispute over cryptocurrency regulation in Russia heated up on Friday as the finance ministry submitted legislative proposals to the government that contradicted the central bank’s demand for a blanket ban.
The Bank of Russia has proposed restricting cryptocurrency trading and mining due to concerns about financial instability, and considers regulating cryptocurrencies unfeasible. The finance ministry disagrees and President Vladimir Putin has called on authorities to find a consensus.
Finance Minister Anton Siluanov told state TV channel Rossiya 24 on Friday that he hoped disagreements could be ironed out and a bill regulating cryptocurrencies passed by the end of the year. He said the government would take the final decision.
Siluanov said his ministry proposed identifying crypto traders, which he said would separate the “white” market from the “grey” market.
Giving law enforcement the power to trace money flows and transactions may diminish one of cryptocurrencies’ major selling points – their anonymity.
A document sent to the finance ministry and seen by Reuters, however, shows the central bank does not support the ministry’s proposals for legalisation and wants to ban the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies in full, a long-held position.
The bank has previously blamed speculative demand for cryptocurrencies’ rapid growth and warned of potential bubbles in the market.
The finance ministry and central bank did not immediately reply to Reuters requests for comment.