For example, the CEO of Sberbank and the CEO of VTB said they did not see any benefit in bitcoin as an investment. However, other voices are now also coming out from Russia.
Bitcoin as a means of payment
Russian oligarch, billionaire and industry mogul, Oleg Deripaska, lashed out at the Russian central bank in a Telegram message.
In a not so distant past, Deripaska was the richest man in Russia. His net worth is now estimated at $4.8 billion. According to him, the umbrella bank in Russia should accept bitcoin as a payment method as soon as possible.
He cites the Central American country of El Salvador as an example. El Salvador recently made history by becoming the first country in the world to make bitcoin a legal tender.
“Even poor El Salvador […] has realized that digital currencies are desperately needed and has therefore taken a simple path. Recognizing bitcoin as a means of payment”
Russian strict regulation
Although CEOs of banks in Russia are not yet convinced about bitcoin, the Russian government seems to be taking more and more steps towards legal recognition of bitcoin.
There is absolutely no recognition of bitcoin as legal tender, which Deripaska argues for, but crypto assets are already classified as official property.
This means that crypto investors will have to pay tax on their profits. If someone in Russia makes more than $8,184 in crypto transactions in a year, investors have to declare it to the government. 13% tax will then have to be paid on the profit.
On the one hand, this seems very strict regulation. However, this ensures that crypto investments are protected by Russian law.
If it is up to Oleg Deripaska, bitcoin will soon become legal tender in Russia and the country will follow the example of El Salvador. Whether this will actually happen remains to be seen.