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Governer says Bank of Russia Not Ready For Bitcoin ETF

Elvira Nabinullina, head of Russian regulator, stated that the Central Bank of Russia was not ready to allow a bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) onto the Russian market. After the U.S. debut of bitcoin ETFs, her statement reaffirmed the bank’s strict stance on cryptocurrency that was recently criticized.

Central Bank of Russia Won’t Allow Bitcoin ETFs Yet

Elvira Nabinullina, the chair of the Central Bank of Russia, stated that the Central Bank of Russia is not ready for the trading of ETFs based upon bitcoin futures at a press conference. This was quoted by RBC, a business news portal. Nabiullina’s comment was made in response to a question about whether Russia’s monetary policy regulator will follow the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lead and allow the listing of bitcoin ETFs within the country.

Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF was the first such fund. It launched on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, October 19, and reached almost $1 billion in volume before trading closed. Shortly thereafter, Vaneck, a wealth manager, was granted permission by the SEC for its own bitcoin futures ETF. On Friday, Valkyrie’s Bitcoin Strategy exchange-traded funds were listed on Nasdaq.

Nabiullina’s statement aligns with CBR’s conservative long-standing position on crypto-based investments and decentralized digital currencies. The bank advised Russian stock markets to refrain from trading financial instruments linked to crypto assets or their prices in July. The authority stated that listing them “entails increased losses for people with insufficient experience and knowledge.”

In its recommendation, the regulator stated that mutual fund managers shouldn’t include cryptocurrency assets. CBR also advised trustees and brokers to not offer “pseudo derivatives with such underlying assets” to unqualified investors. Later reports revealed that Russian legislators are looking at legal restrictions to the crypto funds that private investors can put into them.

Although the law on “Digital Financial Assets” was in force when cryptocurrencies were first introduced, officials indicated that more legislation is required to fully regulate the Russian crypto market. CBR is opposed to the legalization of bitcoin and similar currencies and considers cryptos as money surrogates.

Oleg Deripaska, a Russian billionaire, has recently criticized the bank’s approach. He said that the CBR had turned a blind eye towards the growing cryptocurrency market and called its behavior “infantile” via Telegram. He said that even El Salvador recognizes the necessity to legalize Bitcoin in July. Deripaska also argued that the Bank of Russia should’ve launched the digital ruble two year ago. He compared the task to Gagarin’s 1961 space flight.