Russia’s central government agencies reached an agreement to regulate cryptocurrencies by mandating licenses for exchanges and taxing large transactions on Tuesday, shelving concerns of a blanket ban proposed by the central bank last month. 

Fast facts

  • Russian business newspaper Kommersant reported the government and the Bank of Russia are preparing a draft law by Feb. 18 to classify crypto as a form of currency rather than digital financial assets.
  • The document, which was signed off by the central bank and the finance ministry, stated that crypto trading will be strictly regulated with a focus on investor protection.
  • The Bank of Russia last month issued a report calling cryptocurrency a pyramid scheme and recommending a comprehensive ban, while the Russian finance ministry suggested regulating crypto rather than banning it.
  • The government said the move to legitimize crypto circulation in its economy will minimize the threat to financial stability and reduce the use of crypto in illegal activities.