Bank of Russia wants to ban miners from selling crypto to Russians


The Russian central bank continues to maintain an extremely negative stance on cryptocurrencies, proposing to ban local miners from selling coins to local people.

The Bank of Russia has supported the idea of legalizing cryptocurrency mining in Russia as part of a draft bill introduced in mid-November 2022.

However, the Russian central bank wants to allow miners to sell their crypto only on foreign exchanges and to non-residents of Russia, the local news agency Interfax reported on Dec. 7.

“We believe that cryptocurrency obtained as a result of mining can be sold exclusively using foreign infrastructure and only to non-residents,” the Bank of Russia’s press office reportedly said, adding:

“In general, we adhere to the position on the inadmissibility of the circulation of digital currency on the territory of the Russian Federation.”

The new proposal would apparently trigger a lot of questions from miners in Russia, as many foreign crypto exchanges have banned Russians from using their platforms in compliance with sanctions over Russia’s war in Ukraine. The Bank of Russia has been a long proponent of allowing residents to trade only via foreign trading platforms as well.

According to the Bank of Russia’s proposal, miners that want to sell their self-mined crypto within Russia must carry out operations through an “authorized organization.”

The news comes shortly after the Russian Ministry of Finance opposed the Bank of Russia’s proposal to introduce strict licensing of crypto mining operations in Russia.

On Dec. 6, Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev reportedly said that the Russian central bank has developed a new plan to only allow mining through “authorized organizations.” According to the official, such a measure would essentially bring “total licensing” of crypto mining. “We are against it,” Moiseev reportedly stated.

As previously reported, Russian lawmakers introduced a draft bill on cryptocurrency mining into the lower house of parliament on Nov. 17. The original version of the bill doesn’t include a ban on sales of mined cryptocurrency to residents of Russia. At the same time, the bill doesn’t allow miners to sell their coins anywhere other than on foreign exchanges or through the state-backed platform that is being developed within the experimental legal regime for crypto.

Related: Crypto miners in Russia capitalize on the bear market by hoarding ASIC devices

The latest news is yet another twist in the long history of arguments around crypto regulation between the anti-crypto Russian central bank and the more crypto-friendly Ministry of Finance. The years of arguments have only contributed to a situation where citizens and residents of Russia still have no clear cryptocurrency framework, while the local crypto adoption has still been growing.

Russia’s bill on crypto mining is one the most-anticipated legal initiatives in the country, alongside the government’s initiative to legalize crypto for cross-border payments for imports. According to Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the finance committee in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the related amendments are expected to be adopted by February 2023.