Opposition rises against crypto ban in Russia

A number of Russian politicians, tech entrepreneurs and businessmen have criticized the plans to ban crypto in the country. The comments came in the wake of a statement by the Central Bank of Russia, which proposed a blanket ban on crypto last week.

Alexei Navalny’s chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, has been among the first people to respond to the move and criticize the idea altogether. Telegram founder, Pavel Durov, joined the ranks of critics and cautioned that the move could slow down the development of blockchain technologies in the countries.

Russia’s central bank issued a report in which it outlined the risks of crypto being much higher for emerging markets, which prompted a stricter approach. Durov acknowledged the bank’s purview to regulate financial mechanisms in the country but opposed the idea of banning it altogether, warning about an underground industry replacing legitimate operators.

Volkov added that banning cryptocurrencies is impossible. Volkov saw political motivation in the decision to suspend crypto. Navalny’s organization has long relied on donations through cryptocurrencies, many of his political followers have been subject to prosecution by the Federal Security Service. Russia has claimed that crypto is used in various illegal operations.

The idea behind it, Volkov claimed, was to ensure that the status quo could not be challenged. Volkov then said that other than pressuring crypto transfers and adding to the cost of individual transactions, not much could change through a blanket ban. Meanwhile, Ukraine has embraced blockchain and crypto becoming an outlier in the region, which is dominated by mostly crypto hostile nations.

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Updated: 01/26/2022 — 00:00