What Happened at the End of 2022?
Local Russian media reported on November 23rd last year that the members of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament were engaged in discussions about establishing a national exchange. According to the source, the amendments that would support the establishment of the Russian federal exchange were supposed to be presented to both the government and the central bank.
Photo illustration: Freepik
Earlier that year, Anatoly Aksakov, who serves as the head of the Duma’s Committee on Financial Market, put forward a proposal for the establishment of a national cryptocurrency exchange. The Russian press furthermore reported that in September 2022, the Moscow Exchange took the initiative to draft a bill representing the central bank, aiming to allow the trading of digital assets within the country.
These were big moves because the idea of paying more attention to cryptocurrencies had become a crucial part of the Russian economy, especially after the Western sanctions came into play. However, it wasn’t long before Russian lawmakers realized that putting too much effort into establishing a national exchange might not be the most effective approach to tackling the current cryptocurrency challenges.
Russia Suddenly Lost Interest in Creating a National Crypto Exchange
According to Izvestia, a Russian news outlet, the government has completely abandoned previously mentioned plans to launch a national crypto exchange. Their energy is now focused on creating regulations for the upcoming launches of trading platforms.
The story started gaining attention after Wu Blockchain posted about it on Twitter. The tweet featured a translated article from Izvestia, which explained that the next step would involve establishing regulations to enable private companies to create trading platforms under the supervision of Russia’s central bank.
Anatoly Aksakov said for Izvestia that it would be much more beneficial to set clear regulations for the industry instead of trying to establish a national crypto exchange.
In response to that, Cointelegraph reports that some crypto industry observers believe Russian lawmakers’ ideas may not have been viable from the start. Lesperance & Associates founder David Lesperance said for Cointelegraph that “The concept of a single national crypto exchange in Russia was never going to be accepted by the crypto community in Russia.”
Transactions such as sending funds to dissidents; buying plane tickets to avoid conscription; or moving assets out of Russia could all result in a knock at the door in the middle of the night. Why use a national crypto exchange when a world of alternatives was just a VPN away?
David Lesperance told Cointelegraph.
So, if we take this into account, why were Russian lawmakers so invested in establishing a national crypto exchange? And why did it take them that long to change their course of action? These questions are yet to be answered, but one thing’s for sure – Russia is not giving up on crypto anytime soon.