Russia continues sending mixed messages about the legal status of cryptocurrency, with a parliament official urging the launch of crypto trading on the country’s largest stock exchange.
The Moscow Exchange (MOEX) is the best match for hosting a regulated crypto exchange in Russia, according to Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Russian Banking Association and a financial committee within the State Duma.
At a recent press conference, Aksakov stressed the importance of building a crypto exchange under the strict requirements of the Russian central bank, local news agency Prime reported on Thursday.
The lawmaker pointed out that MOEX is likely to do a great job in launching a crypto trading division due to its full compliance with the rules of the Bank of Russia.
“That division — which will work as part of a respected organization with great traditions and highly engaged in actively interacting with the central bank — will do an excellent job with the task of handling cryptocurrency operations,” Aksakov noted.
Aksakov’s remarks came shortly after MOEX said last week that it planned a legal challenge against European Union sanctions on the National Settlement Depository and would seek to protect the interests of Russian investors. The stock exchange was targeted as part of international sanctions against Russia in 2022 and had to suspend all operations for one month.
Global stock exchanges are popular destinations for digital asset-related products. Canada’s Toronto Stock Exchange is known for listing the world’s first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund in 2021. Some European stock market operators like Deutsche Boerse have launched dedicated digital asset divisions listing a number of crypto investment products.
The latest report adds some confusion to Russia’s overall stance on crypto though as the Bank of Russia has been strongly opposed to opening a local regulated crypto trading platform.
“Cryptocurrencies should not be traded on organized marketplaces because these assets are too volatile, too risky for potential investors,” Bank of Russia governor Elvira Nabiullina said last month. A deputy governor at the bank also declared last year that Russia will only allow crypto trading via foreign trading platforms like Binance.
Related: Russia seems to be preparing to mine Bitcoin with flare gas
As previously reported, Russians have been actively investing in crypto in recent years despite the local government not legalizing a single local crypto trading exchange. All local trading has been facilitated either through foreign crypto firms or non-regulated local exchanges.