Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin recently stated that Russians crypto holdings are worth billions of dollars, but the government has yet to develop a legislative framework for the industry.
According to him, Russians own more than 10 trillion rubles ($130 billion) in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, and others, according to the Russian government’s annual report.
The prime minister did not state where this statistic came from, only that it is based on several estimations. He claimed that they are well aware that more than 10 million young people have opened crypto wallets and moved huge sums of money totaling more than 10 trillion rubles.
According to the prime minister’s latest estimates, Russia’s crypto assets are near to the country’s gold reserves, which were estimated to be worth $140 billion as of late March 2022.
According to US official estimates, Russia’s gold reserves account for around 20% of the country’s total reserves.
The Russian government’s latest figures come months after the Bank of Russia revealed plans to analyze the magnitude of the country’s crypto holdings last year.
Russia’s yearly crypto transactions are now anticipated to be valued over $5 billion, according to the central bank. Some sources, such as TASS news services, projected Russia’s total crypto holdings to be $214 billion earlier this year.
Despite the fact that Russians are increasingly investing in cryptocurrency as a result of Western sanctions imposed as a result of the ongoing conflict, the Russian government has yet to adopt clear rules to regulate the burgeoning cryptocurrency market, with various government structures unable to reach an agreement on how to regulate the industry.
After modifying the text in response to comments from other ministries and authorities, the Russian Finance Ministry filed a new version of the Russian crypto law with the government on Friday.
Governor Elvira Nabiullina of the Russian Central Bank had previously requested a comprehensive ban on crypto-related transactions, since the country is one of the greatest local critics of the technology.
Because Russia is fast becoming the world’s most sanctioned country, a number of foreign leaders have expressed alarm about the developing narrative about Russia’s ability to circumvent sanctions by using cryptocurrency.
Some of the industry’s top executives believe that bitcoin will be of no use to Russians as a means of evading sanctions. On Wednesday, Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume and a recent addition to Forbes’ top 20 list of the world’s wealthiest people, stated that Russians cannot truly use cryptocurrency to avoid sanctions because crypto transactions are not anonymous.