Kirill Pronin, head of the financial technology department of the Central Bank of Russia, admitted the possibility of legalizing cryptocurrency mining under certain conditions. A public acknowledgment like this is a rare occurrence as the Central Bank of Russia continues to wage a battle against efforts to legalize cryptocurrencies in the country.
The executive expressed his views on mining at the Saint-Petersburg International Legal Forum last Wednesday, June 29. During a session dedicated to crypto, Pronin revealed that the Central Bank of Russia does not take as hard a position on mining as it does on the general legalization of cryptocurrencies:
“DESPITE THE FACT THAT WE CONSISTENTLY PRONOUNCE THE BAN ON CRYPTO, THE DISCUSSION ON THE LEGALIZATION OF MINING IS POSSIBLE.”
However, Pronin named several conditions that, according to him, make this discussion possible. He insisted that mined assets should be sold strictly abroad and in exchange for bare money:
"ULTIMATELY, WE HAVE TO SAY THAT THERE SHOULD BE AN EXPORT OF THESE MINING SERVICES, AND THE MINING BUSINESS SHOULD NOT LEAD TO THE ACCUMULATION OF CRYPTOCURRENCIES IN THE COUNTRY, SO THERE WILL BE NO INCENTIVE FOR FURTHER USE IN INTERNAL PAYMENTS."
In a sort of personal reenactment of the ongoing cryptocurrency battle between the Central Bank of Russia and the Ministry of Finance, the head of the CBR's financial policy department, Ivan Chebeskov, loudly disagreed with Pronin, reminding him that there are remarkable challenges for Russian miners to sell their crypto abroad these days.
In response, Pronin stated that there are no problems with accumulating mined wealth on public blockchains and selling it with their help.
Last May 2022, a new draft law "on mining in the Russian Federation" appeared in the database of the lower house of the Russian parliament. The latest version exempts mining operators from the obligation to register in a special register and sweeps away the previously proposed annual tax amnesty. Although Russia still generally opposes cryptocurrencies, the new law allows them to be used for international payments to bypass the Swift system ban. Recently, the State Duma also supported a bill that should reduce taxes for digital asset.