The recently enacted bill strengthens a prior ban on cryptocurrency payments, including NFTs, in the country.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a bill outlawing digital payments nationwide according to a policy change on Thursday.
According to the amendment put out by Russian State Duma member Anatoly Aksakov on June 7, no security tokens, utility tokens, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs) would be accepted as payment for products and services in the nation.
The existing restriction, which has been in effect since January 2021, was deemed insufficient by group legislators, according to the Russian media organization RBC, as it simply barred people and companies from using “payment tokens.”
The Bank of Russia, in contrast, had planned to permit the use of cryptocurrencies for cross-border payments in the context of global trade due to stringent sanctions put on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.
The accounts of users who have been subject to US sanctions have been frozen by major exchanges. Most recently, Binance terminated the accounts of a few people with ties to prominent Russian leaders’ families.
According to Reuters, Russia is also working on system upgrades to identify participants in blockchain transactions. Blockchains like Bitcoin maintain an immutable, visible ledger of all transactions, but it is difficult to track individual wallet holders’ identities because they are anonymous.
The central bank stated in May that since Russian banks had enough foreign currency going forward, the threat posed by cryptocurrencies to the nation’s finances had diminished. Putin’s latest amendment shows that, at least for the time being, there are no intentions to loosen the nation’s restrictions on digital currencies.