Tinkoff, the best-known online bank in Russia, is facing regulatory and legal challenges to offer cryptocurrency trading to its premium customers, the bank’s CEO said on Thursday.
Oliver Hughes, the CEO of Tinkoff, took an interview with CNBC on Thursday and said that “qualified investors” want to invest in crypto as a digital asset. Even so, due to the tough stance of the country’s central bank, Tinkoff is unable to:
“We currently have no mechanism to offer you this product in Russia because the central bank has this very difficult position.”
Tinkoff is considered the third largest bank in Russia, behind the state bank Sberbank and VTB. Hughes said the central bank was concerned about high volatility and money laundering risks in the industry. Hence, current policies are not favorable to this type of business.
Last year Russia authorized crypto, like Bitcoin (BTC), with legal status, but still forbidden crypto payments due to its volatility, which only allow the Russian ruble as a legal lump sum.
Compared to crypto, Moscow prefers to spend the digital ruble in the form of the central bank digital currency (CBDC) instead. The agency can therefore centralize monetary control over threats to the stability of the national financial system, such as terrorist financing, money laundering or tax evasion.
Bank of Russia announced that (CBDC) will eliminate challenges posed by crypto. However, some analysts argued that CBDC, like a digital version of a legal currency, would only strengthen digital authoritarianism and undermine the functioning and mechanisms of a free market.
Meanwhile, other multinational commercial banks are pursuing different strategies in developing crypto investments. Standard Chartered just announced on Wednesday that it would launch a joint venture to trade virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), while HSBC has no plans at this time to offer crypto investments to its customers.
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