Russia Blocks Crypto Exchange Debut Ahead Of Anti ‘Gold Rush’ Regulations

Russia has promised cryptocurrency regulation laws will be ready by the end of the year as the central bank head calls it a “gold rush.”

Speaking at the Moscow Financial Forum, Elvira Nabiullina told reporters that so-called “money surrogates” would not feature on Russian exchanges.

“The use of cryptocurrencies as money surrogates is actively presenting itself for payments of goods and services,” she said quoted by TASS.

“In our view, this is tantamount to risking disruption to money circulation, and of course we are not going to allow the use of cryptocurrencies as money surrogates.”

Conflicting statements

Nabiullina’s comments run in contrast to statements last month from deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev, who said plans were afoot to only allow “authorized investors” access to cryptocurrency, specifically through the Moscow Stock Exchange.

Russia has long used the term ‘money surrogates’ to refer to Bitcoin and other virtual currencies and continues to present conflicting approaches on how it will regulate or otherwise control their domestic use.

Following Nabiullina, finance minister Anton Siluanov told TV channel Rossiya 1 in an interview that regulation was “essential” for “deceptive investors” earning and profiting from this “highly volatile finance instrument.”

“The ministry will prepare the package of laws by the end of the year,” he confirmed.