Russia and Bitcoin have long been partners in a highly contentious relationship. Today, news broke that they’re trying to save their relationship by getting married. A document posted on the official Russian government site announced that the country is planning on regulating and taxing cryptocurrencies. It detailed the allowance of trades through locally registered companies, as well as a requirement for investors to verify their identity and personal information, a system which much of The West knows as Know Your Customers (KYC).
The news comes with the support of the government and the Russian Central Bank, the latter of which called for cryptocurrencies to be banned outright just two weeks ago.
How Big Is The Russian Crypto Market?
According to the Russian government's report, there are 12 million cryptocurrency accounts in Russia. Russia has a population of 144 million, meaning that over 8% of Russia is already involved. These accounts collectively hold 2 trillion Rubles ($26.7B) in crypto. Russia is the world’s 11th largest economy.
The bigger story for Bitcoin itself may be the impact this news will have on stabilizing the mining network. Russia currently accounts for a third of all Bitcoin miners, a number which in part is due to the migration of Chinese miners to Russia following China’s cryptocurrency ban.
Russia’s actions are part of a quickening pace of adoption of cryptocurrency by national economies – most notably El Salvador, but this announcement also comes on the tail of India changing their stance from antagonistic, to “adopt and tax.” There has been some speculation that Russia may be gaining interest in cryptocurrency as a way to skirt global sanctions.
In case this plan goes poorly, they could always try to save the marriage by having a child – Russia is reportedly working on a digital Ruble.