Russia’s central bank unveiled a report today about financial stability, noting that the country is highly active globally when it comes to cryptocurrency transactions. According to the Bank of Russia, the total annual volumes across the country’s population account for $5 billion or around RUB 350 billion.
However, the report didn’t clarify if such estimations were based on Bitcoin’s (BTC) prices, which had skyrocketed significantly since the study was compiled in July this year. That said, Russians are among the top leaders in the $2.8 trillion crypto market around the world.
Also, the country is among the top ones that have a solid market share in crypto mining. “The relationship between digital currencies and the financial sector remains limited at the moment. However, the rapid growth and the widespread adoption of digital currencies would pose higher risks both globally and for the Russian financial market,” Bank of Russia commented.
Crypto Discussions in Russia
The study’s results come in the midst of several discussions about crypto-related fronts in the country, such as the forthcoming digital ruble’s prototype launch and thoughts from authorities about digital assets as a means for tax evasion.
Daniil Egorov, the Head of the Russian Federal Taxation Service (FTS), expressed his concerns that cryptocurrencies could be a path for tax evasion. During an interview with a news agency, RBC, Egorov mentioned that the tax authority is ‘closely watching’ the crypto market and assessing its potential to ‘significantly erode the country’s taxation base.
Russia has progressed with its central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative as the country is determined to develop a digital ruble prototype in early 2022 and is set to launch a pilot program. The Bank of Russia is reportedly planning to charge fees for all CBDC transactions. However, according to Prime, quoting Kirill Pronin, the Bank of Russia’s Director of the Financial Technologies department, the fees will still be lower than those charged for wire transfers.
Furthermore, transactions performed with CBDCs, digital ruble, will not be higher than those completed through the Russian Faster Payments System (FPS), an instant interbank transfers system.