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The Bank of Russia, the country’s main financial regulator, will adopt the laissez-faire approach to cryptocurrencies for the medium term while it evaluates possible risks, an official says.

“Since bitcoin is a private currency, it turns out that not everything is as simple and brilliant there as they claim in books and magazines. The regulator’s position, therefore, is that we do not want to ban anything right now, before we understand what to make of it and then build a regulatory framework,” the Central Bank’s Deputy Chair Olga Skorobogatova as quoted by Rambler.

A similar attitude has been adopted by the Ministry of Finance, which recently suspended its work on the draft law popularly known as the “bitcoin ban bill” and aimed to introduce criminal liability for issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies. The deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseev confirmed to the press the other day that the draft law is postponed until the authorities get a clearer picture from the international practice what to expect from this financial innovation.

“The Central Bank and the Federal Financial Monitoring Service are observing if cryptocurrencies pose any threats to the Russian economy. So far, these agencies assume that there are no critical threats there,” Moiseev told RIA Novosti.

Russian financial elite, cautiously enthusiastic about the cryptoeconomy, believes that banning digital currencies would be a futile attempt. The head of Alfa-Bank Petr Aven said that it is hardly possible to stop the usage of cryptocurrencies and praised the Central Bank’s balanced position. The country’s largest bank Sberbank is known for its favourable position towards financial innovations. Whereas its CEO boasts of his experience of bitcoin trading, his deputy Vadim Kulik claims the blockchain technology may become an industry standard as early as 2018.

Elena Platonova