- Russia’s central bank last week said Bitcoin mining and transactions should be banned.
- But the finance ministry today said the country needs to “regulate, not prohibit” crypto.
Russia's finance ministry today called for cryptocurrency regulation—just one week after the country's central bank called for a ban.
Ivan Chebeskov, director of the finance ministry's financial policy department, today said that regulation was needed to protect citizens, not a ban, according to a Tuesday report by Russian media publication RBC.
Russia's central bank last week suggested that not only should Bitcoin mining be halted in the country, but Russians should not be able to even buy cryptocurrency.
But Chebeskov today reportedly said it would be "necessary to allow these technologies to develop."
"We need to regulate, not prohibit. Regulation will protect citizens," Chebeskov was quoted saying. "In this regard, the Ministry of Finance is actively involved in working on legislative initiatives in terms of regulating this market," he added.
Chebeskov was reported saying that a ban on crypto transactions and mining could stunt the country's growth in the industry.
The central bank's reasons for banning Bitcoin mainly revolved around environmental concerns. Bitcoin is notoriously energy intensive—and Russia's miners provide more than 10% of the computing power to the Bitcoin network.
A number of countries have already banned Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, with China being the most high-profile example. The country cracked down on the crypto industry last year—making mining illegal. Since then, the mining industry has boomed in North America.
Chebeskov and Russian government officials aren't the only ones who think a ban would be a bad idea: last week Pavel Durov, CEO and co-founder of the Telegram messaging app, said a ban on crypto was "throwing the baby out with the bath water," according to Bloomberg.