Russian cenbank official: We see no room for cryptocurrencies

Illustration shows representations of virtual cryptocurrencies
Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are seen in this illustration taken November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

MOSCOW, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Bank of Russia Deputy Governor Vladimir Chistyukhin hinted on Monday that privately run cryptocurrencies may soon no longer be used in the country's financial markets, TASS news agency reported.

The central bank is working on a report elaborating on proposals to limit the use of such currencies in Russia, TASS cited Chistyukhin as saying.

While it plans to issue its own digital rouble, Russia has opposed private cryptocurrencies for years, saying they could be used in money laundering or to finance terrorism. But it has recently ratcheted up its campaign.

"I'll give you a hint: We do not see room for cryptocurrency on the Russian financial market," TASS quoted Chistyukhin as saying.

Last week, Reuters cited sources as saying the central bank sees risks to financial stability from the rising number of crypto transactions and advocates a "complete rejection" of them, sending bitcoin tumbling. read more

Central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina has said her bank cannot welcome investments in cryptocurrencies, which Russians have used in annual transactions worth about $5 billion.

The Bank of Russia has previously said the country needs a further adjustment of cryptocurrency regulation, pointing to the experience of China and India.

In September, China intensified its crackdown on cryptocurrencies with a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and "mining", hitting bitcoin and other major coins and pressuring crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia aims to join the global trend to develop its own digital currency to help modernise financial systems, speed up payments and counter any threat from other cryptocurrencies.

Reporting by Elena Fabrichnaya; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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