Director of Rosfinmonitoring Yuri Chikhanchin referred to the rise in popularity that crypto is experiencing in Russia in a recent interview, stating that more than 185,000 cryptocurrency transactions were completed during the first nine months of 2023. Chikhanchin also called for regulation in the crypto industry to be introduced as soon as possible due to its involvement in illicit activities.
Rosfinmonitoring: Crypto Adoption Rises in Russia
Cryptocurrency is gaining traction in Russia, according to statements by Yuri Chikhanchin, director of Rosfinmonitoring, the Federal Service for Financial Monitoring. In an interview given to Izvestia, Chikhanchin talked about the recent rise in crypto transactions during the first nine months of 2023 and how they have surpassed the total completed in 2022.
Chikhanchin told Izvestia:
According to our data, the number of transactions with cryptocurrency in the nine months of this year exceeded 185,000 (last year, during the same period, 60,000 were recorded).
The volume of funds moved also rose. Chikhanchin stated that during the specified period, the volumes registered for crypto transactions almost doubled.
Chikhanchin disclosed that Rosfinmonitoring uses “Transparent Blockchain,” a software toolkit launched in partnership with VTB bank, the second largest bank in the country, to track crypto transactions. He explained that the software allows tracking transactions on more than 30 blockchains, having access to the identity of the senders and receivers in these movements.
The tool is now being eyed by Arab, African, and Latin American states, and it also allows banks to conduct crypto-compliance tasks, he added.
Chikhanchin further referred to the state of cryptocurrency regulation in Russia, calling for a regulatory framework to be completed as soon as possible, even if it bans cryptocurrency entirely. When asked about the position of the institution regarding cryptocurrency regulation, he explained:
The sooner a decision is made, the better. We already know how we will work both if cryptocurrency payments are legalized and if they are completely banned. But we need to understand the rules of the game.
The reason given for Chikhanchin’s position is that crypto is being used as part of illicit activities in Russia, with drug dealers, terrorists, and corrupt officials leveraging it as a substitute for cash.
The institution has a different view of the upcoming digital ruble, the Russian central bank digital currency, currently in its pilot stages. “The digital ruble is a project that allows you to see the sequence of operations, which makes calculations transparent,” the director of Rosfinmonitoring concluded.
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