The tendency to regulate bitcoin is one-way: regulators worldwide are ready for bitcoin regulation and for considering it as a payment tool, Victor Dostov, President of Russian Electronic Money Association (EMA), said in an interview to Russian financial media There are less bans related to cryptocurrency while the opportunities expand, he added.

Russian E-Money Association works towards developing the market of electronic payments systems in Russia. The organisation sees its mission in raising awareness about electronic money, bringing players of the market together and assisting legislative regulation of the sector. Dostov is the president of the Association since 2009. He also consults the Central Bank of Russia and provides expert advice on anti-money laundering issues.

Dostov mentioned the New York's BitLicense introduced in  2014, and the FATF's document on cryptocurrency published in 2015. He also stated that the new national payment system Mir provides a lot of new opportunities for partnership between the state and businesses in the financial and payment sectors. However, Dostov does not foresee any legislative initiatives related to electronic money in Russia in the nearest future. When asked about e-commerce, Dostov said that this market has big potential in Russia and the number of people using plastic cards to purchase goods on the Internet has grown over the past several years.

As for the banks, Dostov sees the adoption of bitcoin as a natural step

“Banks treat well various payment instruments such as precious metals, securities and others. Bitcoin is a combination, a payment instrument which is between money and non-monetary assets.”

While according to Dostov it is essential for the banks to learn about bitcoin, the bitcoin market is not big enough to be of considerable interest to them.

The Central Bank of Russia, originally very critical of cryptocurrencies, became much more favourable towards them in June 2015, according to the reports. Bitcoin remains a niche product in Russia. According to a recent survey, up to 80% of the Russian population has never heard about bitcoin. Yet 40% of respondents believe the digital currency to be dangerous and advocate its banning.


Aliona Chapel