The Central Bank of Russia reiterated its skepticism about cryptocurrencies. According to the regulator, crypto is a monetary surrogate and should not be in circulation in Russia.

Giving a speech in the State Duma with a report and answering the question about measures against the black market of cryptocurrencies, the head of the Russian Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina called decentralized digital coins a monetary surrogate.

“We treat the so-called cryptocurrencies with a certain restraint. It is a monetary surrogate. And we are opposed to cryptocurrencies as private digital ones, even if I don’t want to call them money, to be used domestically,” she said.

According to her, the transnational nature of cryptocurrencies presents a problem for regulators, since "it is difficult to restrict it at the national level." She recalled that in Russia there is a ban on settlements using cryptocurrencies, which cannot be used as a means of payment.

“Different countries have different attitudes towards cryptocurrencies, some of them even have stricter laws than we do. And we have a ban on settlements, we have legalized possession, including as a basis for taxation, we can discuss and adopt the appropriate amendments. But practically no one accepts cryptocurrency as a means of payment."

Nabiullina mentioned the recent decision of the El Salvadorian authorities to approve bitcoin as legal tender, but noted that El Salvador did not have its own national currency before this step.

“I don’t think this is an example for us.”

Nabiullina highlighted the differences between cryptocurrency and digital ruble.

"The digital ruble is a digital form of the national currency backed by the Central Bank. We will develop this project, like most other countries. Now 56 central banks are working on a digital currency of their own. But this does not have anything in common with cryptocurrencies."