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The time has come to integrate bitcoin into the economy, says the Russian Prime Minister.

During a meeting with members of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Prime Minister of Russia, Mikhail Mishustin, expressed his position in favor of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. For Mishustin, the time has come to integrate cryptocurrencies into his country's economy, so he considers it necessary to activate the mechanisms that allow the circulation of digital currencies in the Russian financial system.

The official made these comments a few days after the head of the Eurasian giant's Energy Committee, Pavel Zavalny, admitted that there is a possibility that Russia will accept cryptocurrencies for the sale of energy resources, such as gas and oil.

Although what Zalvany said did not seem official, now the Prime Minister's words confirm that there is indeed a renewed interest of the Russian government in cryptocurrencies. The Prime Minister's position was made known this March 26 in local media. It was reported that the official emphasized that the issue of cryptocurrencies must be solved together with the Central Bank.

With this, Mishustin referred to the anti-bitcoin position openly declared by the Central Bank, which recommended the prohibition of cryptocurrencies last January, as reported by CriptoNoticias. A recommendation derived from a public debate in which even President Vladimir Putin participated, closing the discussion in favor of taking advantage of bitcoin mining.

The controversy between the Central Bank of Russia and Finance

The extreme position of the central bank against bitcoin was refuted by the Ministry of Finance, which did not look favorably on the idea of censoring a market that moves more than 2 trillion rubles ($2.5 billion) with an annual transaction volume estimated at over $5 billion. Hence the recommendation to regulate and not prohibit. However, like the Ministry of Finance, the Prime Minister believes that steps should be taken further to regulate the trading and mining of the pioneering cryptocurrency. He, therefore, recalled that last month the government approved the proposal submitted by the finance portfolio, where the details of the regulation are outlined. According to the Ministry of Finance, the planning underway is that all cryptocurrency operations will be conducted through Russian banks, to which exchanges will have to report. In addition, all agencies operating with bitcoin will have to apply KYC (know-your-customer policy) and hand over user data to the government. A regulation is thus being prepared that will give the state strict control over the market.

This discussion came shortly before Russia invaded Ukraine, kicking off the still ongoing war conflict. Nevertheless, plans have continued amid the war, as the State Duma, equivalent to the Legislative Assembly in Western countries, published a statement earlier this month with an agenda focused on continuing with the "Discussions of the draft law On Digital Currency.".

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