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Bank of Russia issues a survey program on crypto investment risks

The central bank of Russia is looking at cryptocurrency risks

Last June 28, the Bank of Russia released an announcement on their website regarding their plans to assess the risks of using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) for investments through a survey program they will implement for the second half of 2021. They stated that this investigation will help them see the ‘systemic risks linked to cryptocurrency investment by Russian individuals and entities’.

According to the bank’s statement, the survey participants will include 15 credit organizations including major banks VTB and Tinkoff Bank, payment systems Visa and Mastercard, and electronic payment providers Western Union and WebMoney. They are also planning to release a study on equity investment by non-resident investors from October to November of this year.

The central bank has previously announced a careful stance regarding crypto. In an interview with Russian-based newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) last June 21, Russian Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina stated that crypto is one of the most dangerous investments to exist since prices in the cryptocurrency market are highly volatile and could lead to big losses.

In line with their stance on cryptocurrencies, the central bank started a digital currency project, aiming to finish its prototype by December of this year. This digital ruble platform or central bank digital currency (CBDC) will serve as a more secure and faster medium of exchange than physical cash.

Nabiullina told Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) last June 3 that the bank’s digital currency was the ‘future of their financial system’. Its pilot testing is set to commence in January 2022 as reported by crypto news site CoinDesk.

Although Bitcoin was legalized in Russia in 2020, it is still banned from being used as a form of payment. Only the CBDC will be considered a legal digital tender in the country.

Last June, the central bank received various criticisms from local lawmakers and business owners because of their negative stance on cryptocurrencies. Russian State Duma member Fedot Tumusov argued that there is a growing need to make an ecosystem that lets Russian citizens buy cryptocurrencies like BTC. In addition, he said that Russia should have more methods to deal with crypto rather than making more prohibitions.

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