Značka: Russia

Pro-Russian groups raised only 4% of crypto donations sent to Ukraine

According to data from crypto analytics firm Chainalysis, users have sent more than $2 million in crypto to 54 pro-Russian groups since Feb. 24, a fraction of that received by many wallets controlled by the Ukrainian government.In a Friday blog post, Chainalysis said it had tracked funds sent to social media accounts controlled by pro-Russian groups in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), USDT-TRX, and Dogecoin (DOGE) starting with the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February. According to Chainalysis’ data, users sent roughly $2.2 million to the pro-Russian groups, with more than $1 million going to a single unnamed account.While there may be other groups outside of Chainalysis’ investigation of those supporting pro-Russian forces, the available data suggested that the $2.2 million in donations amounted to roughly 4% of crypto sent in support of Ukraine. Wallet addresses connected to Aid for Ukraine, a platform backed by the government’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, showed the organization had received more than $45 million in crypto since launching in March. Crypto exchange Binance, which facilitates donations through its Ukraine Emergency Relief Fund, reported more than $10 million received since February.Both Russia and Ukraine have taken heavy losses and casualties since the invasion began. Aid for Ukraine reported that crypto sent to its wallets would be used to support the country’s military as well as humanitarian projects; meanwhile, Chainalysis reported the $2.2 million sent to pro-Russian groups could be used primarily for military equipment and to finance propaganda sites.“While significant, the $2.2M worth of crypto donated to pro-Russian orgs still pales in comparison to the tens of millions in crypto donated to Ukraine,” said Chainalysis. 3/ How are the funds being spent?#Crypto donations sent to these orgs have reportedly been used to both finance pro-Russian propaganda sites and purchase military equipment like drones, weapons, bulletproof vests, communication devices & various other supplies. pic.twitter.com/mQiJZd9ctD— Chainalysis (@chainalysis) July 29, 2022The donations to Ukraine have seemingly been in accordance with international laws. However, Chainalysis reported that roughly half of the crypto sent to the pro-Russian groups would be used to support military forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk territories of Ukraine’s Donbas region — areas specifically sanctioned by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, at United States Department of the Treasury. In addition, Chainalysis reported that Russian national Alexander Zhuchkovsky, also listed as a Specially Designated National on OFAC’s sanctions, has used social media channels to promote the Terricon Project. The group reportedly supported Russian efforts in the war against Ukraine through crypto donations for the military in the Donbas region and the fraudulent sale of nonfungible token artwork.Related: NFT sales will fund the restoration of physical monuments in UkraineFollowing the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent economic restrictions imposed on Russia by the United States, many global lawmakers targeted crypto as a way for Russian individuals and businesses to potentially evade sanctions. Amid these measures, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law prohibiting digital financial assets as payments in July.

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Bitcoin rallies after Fed interest rate hike, but bears can still win Friday’s $1.76B options expiry

Bitcoin’s (BTC) price has been stuck in a descending channel since July 20 and it is currently heading toward the $20,000 support by the end of July. Adding to this bearish price action, BTC is down 50% year-to-date, while U.S. listed tech stocks, as measured by the Nasdaq-100 index, accumulated a 24% loss.Bitcoin USD price index, 4-hour. Source: TradingViewAs the U.S. Federal Reserve tightens its economic policies by raising interest rates and scaling back debt asset purchases, risk assets have reacted negatively. Fed chair Jerome Powell is set to wrap up a two-day meeting on July 27 and market analysts expect a nominal 0.75% interest rate hike.Tensions in Europe escalate as the Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom is slated to cut supplies to the Nord Stream 1 pipeline starting on July 27. According to CNBC, the company blames a turbine maintenance issue, but European officials think otherwise.Aiding tech stocks’ performance on July 27 was the U.S. Senate approval of the “Chips and Science” bill, which provides $52 billion in subsidies backed by debt and taxes for U.S. semiconductor production. An additional $24 billion of credits for the sector is estimated, aiming to boost the research to compete with China.For these reasons, traders have mixed feelings about the upcoming Fed announcement and the impact of a global crisis on cryptocurrency markets. As long as Bitcoin’s correlation to traditional markets remains high, especially tech stocks, investors will seek protection by moving away from risk-on asset classes such as cryptocurrencies.Bulls placed their hope on $24,000 and higherThe open interest for the July 29 Bitcoin monthly options expiry is $1.76 billion, but the actual figure will be lower since bulls were caught by surprise as BTC failed to break the $24,000 resistance on July 20.Bitcoin options aggregate open interest for July 29. Source: CoinGlassThe 1.18 call-to-put ratio reflects the $950 million call (buy) open interest against the $810 million put (sell) options. Nevertheless, as Bitcoin stands below $23,000, most of the bullish bets will likely become worthless.For instance, if Bitcoin’s price remains below $23,000 on July 29, bulls will only have $145 million worth of these call (buy) options. This difference happens because there is no use in a right to buy Bitcoin at $23,000 if it trades below that level on July 29 at 8:00 am UTC.Bears can secure a $360 million profit on FridayBelow are the four most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of options contracts available on July 29 for call (buy) and put (sell) instruments varies, depending on the expiry price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:Between $19,000 and $20,000: 400 calls (buy) vs. 19,300 puts (sell). The net result favors bears by $360 million.Between $20,000 and $22,000: 3,900 calls (buy) vs. 11,800 puts (sell). Bears have a $230 million advantage.Between $22,000 and $24,000: 10,300 calls (buy) vs. 8,600 puts (sell). The net result is balanced between bulls and bears.Between $24,000 and $25,000: 14,400 calls (buy) vs. 7,100 puts (sell). Bulls have a $175 million advantage.This crude estimate considers the call options used in bullish bets and the put options exclusively in neutral-to-bearish trades. Even so, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.For example, a trader could have sold a call option, effectively gaining negative exposure to Bitcoin above a specific price, but unfortunately, there’s no easy way to estimate this effect.Bitcoin bears need to pressure the price below $20,000 on July 29 to secure a $360 million profit. On the other hand, bulls can avoid a loss by pushing BTC above $22,000, balancing the valid bets from both sides. Bulls seem heavily vested to put their losses behind and start August with a clean sheet, but it could still go either way.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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NFT sales will fund the restoration of physical monuments in Ukraine

The Ukrainian government will be using the proceeds of sales from an online nonfungible token, or NFT, museum to restore artwork in the real world.According to a Friday announcement and information shared with Cointelegraph, Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture and Information Policy said the government’s Meta History Museum of War platform, aimed at preserving the timeline of major events in Russia’s war with Ukraine, raised 803.28 Ether (ETH) — roughly $1.3 million at the time — through NFT sales. The ministry said proceeds from the sales will go toward “the restoration of Ukrainian cultural institutions,” many of which have been damaged or destroyed by missile attacks from Russia.”During the six months of the war in Ukraine, the Russians destroyed hundreds of our museums, theaters and cultural institutions,” said Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Information Policy. “Ukrainian culture and national heritage have been damaged by almost 6 billion euros, and judging by the actions and intentions of the Russian Federation, this figure will only increase.”Alexander Borniakov, deputy minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine for Information Technology Development, added:“NFT[s] will not stop Russian missiles, but blockchain technology will contribute to the economic recovery and development of Ukraine as an innovation-friendly country.”We wish it was the last drop of NFT artworks, but Russia continues to destroy our homelandTherefore we represent the 3rd drop of the artworks dedicated to events between March 15 – 31. It includes masterpieces created by Maria Oz, Anton Abo, Oleksii Dyvysenko and the others. pic.twitter.com/T43keVzVgL— Meta History: Museum of War (@Meta_History_UA) July 22, 2022The Ukrainian government launched the Meta History project in March, one month after the first missiles struck Ukrainian targets in the ongoing conflict. While the $1.3 million will go toward Aid For Ukraine — a platform launched by the government that accepts crypto donations “to support people in their fight for freedom” — the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has said the funds will be used for restoration rather than supplies for the nation’s military.UNESCO, the agency behind many of the world’s heritage sites based on their significance to history, nature and art, reported that as of Monday, 164 cultural sites in Ukraine had been partially damaged or destroyed as a result of the war with Russia. These include 72 religious sites, 12 museums, 32 historic buildings, 24 buildings for cultural activities, 17 monuments and seven libraries. “These repeated attacks on Ukrainian cultural sites must stop,” said UNESCO director-general Audrey Azoulay in June. “Cultural heritage, in all its forms, should not be targeted under any circumstances.”Related: Ukraine-based blockchain firm announces ‘we’re still hiring’ amid market downturn, warSince the beginning of the war with Russia in February, Ukraine’s government has raised more than $100 million in crypto donations sent directly to wallet addresses provided by the Ministry of Digital Transformation. According to Aid For Ukraine, crypto donations go toward supplying the country’s military as well as humanitarian aid.

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Bulls or bears? Both have a fair chance in Friday’s Bitcoin options expiry

Bitcoin (BTC) briefly broke above $24,000 on July 20, but the excitement lasted less than two hours after the resistance level proved more challenging than expected. A positive is that the $24,280 high represents a 28.5% increase from the July 13 swing low at $18,900.According to Yahoo Finance, on July 19, the Bank of America published its latest fund managers survey, and the headline was “I’m so bearish, I’m bullish.” The report cited investors’ pessimism, expectations of weak corporate earnings and equity allocations being at the lowest level since September 2008.The 4.6% advance on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index between July 18 and 20 also provided the necessary hope for bulls to profit from the upcoming July 22 weekly options expiry. Global macroeconomic tensions eased on July 20 after Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed plans to reestablish the Nord Stream gas pipeline flow after the current maintenance period. However, in the course of the last few months, data shows that Germany has reduced its reliance on Russian gas from 55% to 35% of its demand.Bears placed their bets at $21,000 or lowerThe open interest for the July 22 options expiry is $540 million, but the actual figure will be lower since bears have been caught by surprise. These traders did not expect a 23% rally from July 13 to Ju20 because their bets targeted $22,000 and lower.Bitcoin options aggregate open interest for July 22. Source: CoinGlassThe 1.09 call-to-put ratio shows the balance between the $280 million call (buy) open interest and the $260 million put (sell) options. Currently, Bitcoin stands near $23,500, meaning most bearish bets will likely become worthless.If Bitcoin’s price remains above $22,000 at 8:00 am UTC on July 22, only $30 million worth of these put (sell) options will be available. This difference happens because the right to sell Bitcoin at $22,000 is useless if BTC trades above that level on expiry.Bears aim for $24,000 to secure a $235 million profitBelow are the four most likely scenarios based on the current price action. The number of options contracts available on July 22 for call (bull) and put (bear) instruments varies, depending on the expiry price. The imbalance favoring each side constitutes the theoretical profit:Between $20,000 and $21,000: 900 calls vs. 3,000 puts. The net result favors the put (bear) instruments by $60 million.Between $21,000 and $22,000: 2,400 calls vs. 3,000 puts. The net result is balanced between bulls and bears.Between $22,000 and $24,000: 6,600 calls vs. 500 puts. The net result favors the call (bull) instruments by $140 million.Between $24,000 and $26,000: 9,400 calls vs. 0 puts. Bulls take total control, profiting $235 million.This crude estimate considers the put options used in bearish bets and the call options exclusively in neutral-to-bullish trades. Even so, this oversimplification disregards more complex investment strategies.For example, a trader could have sold a put option, effectively gaining positive exposure to Bitcoin above a specific price, but unfortunately, there’s no easy way to estimate this effect.Related: Bitcoin may hit $120K in 2023, says trader as BTC price gains 25% in a weekBears have until Friday to turn things aroundBitcoin bears need to pressure the price below $22,000 on July 22 to avoid a $140 million loss. On the other hand, the bulls’ best-case scenario requires a slight push above $24,000 to maximize their gains.Bitcoin bears just had $222 million leverage long positions liquidated from July 17 to 20, so they should have less margin required to drive the price higher. In other words, bulls have a head start to sustain BTC above $22,000 ahead of the July 22 options expiry.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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‘Token will defeat cryptocurrency’: Russia debuts palladium-backed stablecoin

The Russian government-backed tokenization platform Atomyze has issued its first digital asset backed by palladium in collaboration with the local bank Rosbank.Rosbank officially announced on Monday that it became the first partner of the Russian blockchain firm Atomyze, acting as an investor in Russia’s first digital asset deal with palladium.According to the announcement, the newly issued digital asset is the first digital financial asset (DFA) issued through Atomyze. The platform obtained registration from the Bank of Russia in February 2022, becoming the country’s first legal digital asset manager.Both Atomyze and Rosbank are backed by Interros, a Russian conglomerate and investment firm co-founded by sanctioned oligarch Vladimir Potanin. The CEO of the Russian nickel and palladium mining and smelting company Nornickel originally announced plans to tokenize palladium back in 2019 through a Switzerland-based palladium fund.According to an announcement by Interros, Atomyze will serve as a key element of Interros’ digital ecosystem including Potanin’s recently acquired private bank Tinkoff, software engineering firm Reksoft and Rosbank.“This is a truly significant event. Russian businesses and individuals have the opportunity to invest in this metal,” Potanin said in the announcement. The event also marks Russia’s economy entering a new period, the “era of tokenization,” the oligarch noted.Related: Bank of Russia opposes private stablecoins in the countryPotanin also expressed confidence that Atomize-issued digital financial assets like the palladium token will sooner or later displace cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), stating:Unlike cryptocurrencies […] industrial and other tokens are backed by physical assets, and the use of blockchain technology makes their transactions reliable, convenient and transparent. The token will defeat the cryptocurrency, pushing it to the sidelines of the digital economy.While both Atomyze or Rosbank refer to the new investment product technically as the “palladium token,” the product has characteristics of a stablecoin backed by precious metals. “The innovative product entitles Rosbank to a cash claim equivalent to the market value of palladium,” the bank said in the announcement.As previously reported by Cointelegraph, major global stablecoin issuers like Tether and Paxos debuted gold-backed stablecoins a few years ago.

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Vladimir Putin signs bill banning digital assets as payments into law

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill into law prohibiting digital financial assets as payments more than a month after it was introduced to the country’s lower chamber of Parliament.In a Thursday update, the Russian State Duma noted that Putin signed a bill suspending certain parts of an existing federal law “on banks and banking activities,” effectively making it illegal for people to use cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services. The initial draft of the bill from June 7 specified the “prohibition against the introduction of other monetary units or monetary surrogates on the territory of the Russian Federation.”The Duma chair approved the draft bill on June 8, and following revisions and other considerations, the upper chamber of Parliament, the Federation Council, approved the legislation on July 8. Under the Constitution of the Russian Federation, all bills need to be approved by both chambers before being signed into law by the president.Cointelegraph reported in June that the bill introduced the concept of an “electronic platform” — a financial platform, investment platform or information system in which digital financial assets are issued. Under the recently passed law, these platforms will likely be required to submit transactions and actions to the Russian central bank’s registry as part of the national payments system.Related: Russian Duma passes bill to remove VAT, lower income tax rates on digital asset salesRussia’s Parliament is currently considering two other bills related to digital assets. One will potentially regulate crypto miners’ activities in the country, requiring them to follow a certain procedure to register as sole proprietors or self-employed. Another, named “on digital currency,” proposed requirements for firms handling digital asset transactions, including licensing and disclosure about risks and data privacy.

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US diplomats call on Japan's crypto exchanges to cut ties to Russia: Report

Officials representing the United States government have reportedly urged Japan’s licensed cryptocurrency exchanges to stop doing business with Russia, seemingly as part of the country’s economic sanctions.According to a Thursday report from the Financial Times, U.S. diplomats requested several of the 31 crypto exchanges licensed to do business in Japan and certain miners to halt operations in Russia. Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency, or FSA reportedly issued demands to the respective exchanges to sever any remaining ties with Russia.国務省は、「米国は、G20およびその他の国際パートナーとの関与を継続し、ロシアのウクライナ侵攻に起因する人道的課題、とりわけロシアの侵略戦争が世界の食料およびエネルギー安全保障に及ぼす悪影響に対処していく」とツイートしました。 https://t.co/NIzKSzkte4— アメリカ大使館 (@usembassytokyo) July 8, 2022Cryptocurrencies have become a point of contention among many lawmakers and regulators in jurisdictions imposing sanctions on Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The FSA and Japan’s Finance Ministry announced in March that crypto firms processing transactions involving sanctioned individuals or entities in Russia and Belarus would be subject to major fines or imprisonment.Under the leadership of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, Japan has imposed its own sanctions on Russia since February, including a ban on imports of the country’s gold, providing certain accounting services and freezing Russian assets. The Financial Times report suggested that though many Japanese crypto mining firms and exchanges may not operate directly in Russia, they could have subsidiaries working with local companies, allegedly in violation of sanctions.Related: The world has synchronized on Russian crypto sanctionsUnder FSA guidelines, all exchanges must be registered to offer crypto-related services in Japan. As of June 17, there were 31 registered and licensed exchanges in the country, including DeCurret, bitFlyer, Coincheck and OKCoin.On Friday, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was shot and killed while speaking at a campaign rally in Nara. Abe was well known for proposed economic reforms that came to be known as “Abenomics.”

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The Moscow Exchange is a good base for crypto trading, Russian lawmaker says

Russia continues sending mixed messages about the legal status of cryptocurrency, with a parliament official urging the launch ocrypto 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 gasAs 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.

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PennyWise crypto-stealing malware spreads through YouTube

A new strain of crypto-malware is being spread via YouTube, tricking users to download software that’s designed to steal data from 30 crypto wallets and crypto-browser extensions.Cyber intelligence company Cyble in a June 30 blog post said it had been tracking the malware known as “PennyWise” — likely named after the monster in Stephen King’s horror novel “It” — since it was first identified in May.“Our investigation indicates that the stealer is an emerging threat,” wrote Cyble in a blog post on June 30. “In its current iteration, this stealer can target over 30 browsers and cryptocurrency applications such as cold crypto wallets, crypto-browser extensions, etc.”Data stolen from the victim’s system comes in the form of Chromium and Mozilla browser information, including cryptocurrency extension data and login data. It can also take screenshots and steal sessions of chat applications such as Discord and Telegram.The malware also targets cold crypto-wallets such as Armory, Bytecoin, Jaxx, Exodus, Electrum, Atomic Wallet, Guarda, and Coinomi, as well as wallets supporting Zcash and Ethereum by looking for wallet files in the directory and sending a copy of the files to attackers, according to Cyble. The cybersecurity company noted that the malware is being spread on YouTube mining education videos purporting to be free Bitcoin mining software. The cybercriminals, or “Threat Actors” upload videos instructing viewers to visit the link in the description and download the free software, whilst also encouraging them also to disable their antivirus software which enables the malware to run successfully. Cyble said the attacker had as many as 80 videos on their YouTube channel as of June 30 however, the channel identified has since been removed. A search by Cointelegraph found similar links to the malware remain on other smaller YouTube channels, with videos promising free NFT-mining, cracks for paid software, free Spotify premium, game cheats and mods.Many of these accounts have only been created within the last 24 hours. Related: Bitcoin stealing malware: Bitter reminder for crypto users to stay vigilantInterestingly, the malware is designed to stop itself if it finds out the victim is based in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. Cyble also found that the malware converts the victim’s stolen timezone data to Russian Standard Time (RST) when the data is sent back to the attackers. In February, malware named Mars Stealer was identified as targeting crypto wallets that work as Chromium browser extensions such as MetaMask, Binance Chain Wallet or Coinbase Wallet.Chainalysis warned in January that even “low-skilled cybercriminals” are now using malware to take funds from crypto hodlers, with cryptojacking accounting for 73% of the total value received by malware-related addresses between 2017 and 2021.

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Russians banned from accessing Bitmex within European Union

Major cryptocurrency exchange BitMEX is working to increase compliance with the European sanctions against Russia by preparing to enforce major restrictions for its Russian users.BitMEX is changing its restricted jurisdictions policy to be compliant with various restrictive measures of the European Union, Cointelegraph has learned.The BitMEX crypto exchange notified a group of potentially affected users about the upcoming changes via email on Monday.According to an email seen by Cointelegraph, Russian citizens or residents will no longer be able to access BitMEX services from the European Union after July 11, 2022. That means that such users will not be able to log into their account or access any services from the European Union, unless an “exception applies.”The new restrictions do not apply to Russian citizens or residents accessing BitMEX services from the EU who are also residents in the EU or Switzerland. Dual citizens of the EU or Switzerland who reside outside Russia will also not be affected, the email notes.“If you are a resident in the EU or Switzerland or a dual citizen of the EU or Switzerland and reside outside Russia, you may submit additional information to apply for an exemption and continue to access our Services from the EU,” the statement said.The measure targets all types of traders, including persons trading on behalf of any legal persons, while they access BitMEX from the EU, as well as legal persons established in Russia, whose traders access the services from the EU.The announcement doesn’t point to any impact on Russian customers accessing BitMEX services from Russia.Related: Bank of Russia backs cross-border crypto payments vs. domestic tradeBitMEX’s latest restrictions against Russians in the EU arrived after a wave of major exchanges like Binance announced restrictions for Russian users. The majority of such restrictions came in the first two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation” in Ukraine on Feb. 24.

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Russian central bank exec is OK with crypto mining under one condition

Kirill Pronin, head of Russian Central Bank (CBR)’s Department of financial technologies, acknowledged the possibility of crypto mining legalization under certain conditions. A public acknowledgment like this makes a rare case, as the CBR continues to lead the battle against the efforts to legalize crypto in the country. The executive expressed his views on mining at the Saint-Petersburg International Legal Forum on Wednesday, June 29. During the session, dedicated to cryptocurrencies, Pronin revealed, that CBR doesn’t take the same kind of hardline position on mining, as in the case with the general crypto legalization:”Despite the fact that we are speaking up consistently for the prohibition of cryptocurrencies’ turnover […] the discussion regarding mining’ legalization is possible.”However, Pronin named several conditions, which, according to him, make this discussion possible. He insisted that the mined assets should be sold strictly abroad and in exchange for fiat money:”Ultimately, we must say that there should be an export of these mining services, and the mining business shouldn’t lead to accumulation of cryptocurrency in the country, so there won’t be a motivation for a further usage in the internal payments.”In a kind of personal reenactment of the ongoing battle for crypto between the CBR and the Ministry of Finance, the latter’s head of the Department of financial policy Ivan Chebeskov vocally disagreed with Pronin and reminded him that there are notable challenges for Russian miners to sell their crypto abroad these days. Related: Russian government fails to forge a consolidated stance on crypto regulationResponding to that, Pronin stated that there are no problems with accumulating the mined wealth on the public blockchains and selling it with their help. In May 2022 the fresh draft of the law “On mining in the Russian Federation” appeared in the database of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament. The latest version spares the mining operators from the obligation to register in a special registry, and sweeps away the earlier proposed one-year tax amnesty.

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VTB sealed the first deal with digital financial assets in Russia

VTB Factoring, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned bank, reported the first major deal with digital finance assets. As part of the deal, the bank subsidiary acquired a tokenized debt pool of the engineering company Metrowagonmash, issued via the fintech platform Lighthouse.On Wednesday, June 29, VTB reported the deal on its webpage, claiming it to be the first issuance and placement of digital financial assets secured by cash in the Russian Federation. In the announcement, the bank compares it with the issue of short-term commercial bonds. Anton Musatov, CEO at VTB Factoring, emphasized the new technology’s potential regarding the access of Russian businesses to the funds necessary for operational activities:“Apart from the standard factoring procedure, [here] a client shouldn’t necessarily sign a service contract to sell its debt pool. The issuer’s readiness to tokenize it and the factoring bank’s decision to acquire it.”In June 2022 the largest Russian bank Sber announced its first operation with the digital financial assets (DFA) to take place in Mid-July, after finally obtaining a license from the country’s central bank. While current legislation on the DFA was put in force in 2020, in June 2022 the head of the Financial Markets Committee of the Russian parliament’s lower chamber introduced a bill that would prohibit the use of DFA as a “monetary surrogate”. Related: Russia to include crypto into its tax code: Here is what the rules might look likeIn February 2022 VTB conducted the first successful testing of the operation with “digital rubbles”, a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project of the Bank of Russia. Later, the bank announced its first purchase of DFAs in exchange for the digital ruble. By the press time, there is no information on whether the aforementioned deal was made via CBDC.

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