Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed reservations about the Central Bank of Russia’s recent decision to prohibit the use of cryptocurrency in the country.
Putin requested that officials from his government, including the central bank, hold talks on cryptocurrencies in a video conference on January 26. While he acknowledged that there are “certain risks, first and foremost to the country’s citizens, given significant volatility,” he directed his agencies not to overlook Russia’s advantages in the area.
“We also have here certain competitive advantages, especially in so-called crypto-mining. I mean surplus in electricity and well-trained teams present in the country,” said Putin.
The Central Bank of Russia announced a proposal last week to completely ban crypto transactions and mining in Russia, which some reports linked to Federal Security Service pressure. However, Putin made no mention of recent crackdowns on Russian ransomware gangs in his remarks, which is notable.
The proposed ban drew condemnation from several prominent members of Russia’s political opposition and sent global crypto markets tumbling.
After the United States and Kazakhstan, Russia has surpassed China as the world’s third-largest source of Bitcoin hash rate in the last year, as miners fled China due to a similar blanket ban. However, given that neighbouring Kazakhstan has been rocked by energy shortages, instability, and government internet shutdowns, the region’s future’s future’s hash rate remains uncertain.