Russia’s Largest Online Bank Has Problems Offering Crypto

Tinkoff, a major player in Russia’s online banking industry, grapples with the country’s strict rules in its goal of offering crypto to its customers.

Tinkoff CEO Oliver Hughes said the bank and its clients are clamoring to add cryptocurrencies to the mix. However, they are held back by the current Bank of Russia position in digital assets. The bank has expressed interest in offering crypto trading services, but understands that it will take time to navigate around Russia’s central bank.

Speaking at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum yesterday, Hughes Express his frustration with the policies that prevent him and his clients from embracing digital currencies. Hugues said:

“There is no mechanism for us to offer them this product in Russia, at the moment, because the central bank has this very difficult position.”

He goes on to say that his bank has many “qualified investors who know what they’re doing” and want access to cryptocurrency.

Strict Russian regulations

While Russia has allowed cryptocurrencies to obtain legal status, it still does not allow the use of a digital asset as a means of payment. The idea is that the Russian ruble is the only legal tender, which the country officially recognizes. This recognition of the legal status of cryptocurrencies has benefited private banks little or nothing.

In an interview with CNBS, Hughes said that as it stands, Tinkoff does not have a clear framework for offering cryptocurrency options to investors in Russia. At least not if he hopes to keep the central bank out. While Hughes acknowledged concerns about The role of cryptocurrencies in illegal activities like drugs and money laundering, he believes the good would outweigh the bad if Russia relaxed its regulations.

“I hope that over time this will evolve and that we can achieve the central bank’s goals, ensuring that there are no money laundering problems, ensuring that investors are protected. , but also to deliver products responsibly, ”said Hughes. .

While the central bank has opposed private banks offering cryptocurrencies to their customers, they are still working on a national digital currency (CBDC), a digital ruble. The governor of the central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, has even gone so far as to say that cryptocurrencies are “the future of our financial system”. Obviously, however, Nabiullina was referring to the digital ruble and not to open the doors to other currencies to take root in Russia.

Russia is not alone in its quest for a digital currency, China, the United States and a number of members of the European Union are also making progress towards CBDCs.


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David A. Albanese

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