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Russian Central Bank Announces Crypto Holdings Limit for Investors 

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The Russian central bank has been making significant moves to structure the country’s crypto space, with the country gearing up for an adoption push. In its latest policy offering, the banking watchdog is setting a limit on how much Bitcoin should be accessible to “non-qualified investors.” 

Qualifications Needed

Earlier this week, the Bank of Russia published a policy note in which it announced that it would restrict non-professional investors to a specific amount of digital assets. The bank explained in the notice that it would restrict these investors to just 600,000 Russian rubles ($7,800) a year, with the limit applying to all “digital rights.” 

The policy note saw the Bank of Russia outline its regulatory competences over “On Digital Financial Assets,” a new crypto law that the Russian parliament passed in July. In accordance with the law, the central bank explained that it had the right to determine who qualified as an investor and who doesn’t. The bank also exercised its right to determine the features of digital financial assets that should only be available to such investors. 

Most prominently, the crypto law passed in July doesn’t include any information about limits on crypto units available to specific investors. However, it’s also worth noting that the country is in the process of passing a second crypto bill, known as “On Digital Currency.” 

It’s unclear whether the next crypto bill will support claims from the central bank or how it expects to move the country forward regarding crypto adoption. However, the State Duma reportedly expects to pass it in its autumn session – which ends in December. 

As for “On Digital Financial Assets,” it will be implemented in the country from January 1, 2021. The new limits on investors’ access to digital assets will also go into effect on the same day. Until then, the bank of Russia has asked members of the public to provide their thoughts on the measure. 

Regulators Off the Rails

The limit on investors’ access is just the latest in the Russian government’s attempts to hold tight controls on its crypto space. Since the crypto law got passed into law, several government agencies have propped up controls in their industries to accommodate crypto services. However, some have also taken things a tad too far. 

Last month, top crypto exchange Binance announced on its official Telegram page that Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecoms regulator, had blocked citizens’ access to its website. 

According to the announcement, the regulator placed Binance on a blacklist due to the exchange’s distribution of data related to digital assets acquisition.  Gleb Kostarev, Binance’s head of operations for Russia and the CIS, explained that they immediately announced the development when the regulator got in touch with them. 

Binance bemoaned the action, pointing out that Roskomnadzor hadn’t even given it proper warning before proceeding with the blacklist.

“We were not previously notified of any claims by law enforcement agencies, civil government services or courts prior to receiving the above notification. We have now engaged our legal counsels for further advice and would like to assure all of our Russian users that there will be no disruption to their services in the interim and that their funds are safe,” the Telegram announcement read.

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