Russian central bank policies prevent Tinkoff from offering crypto trading, CEO says

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Tinkoff, a large private bank in Russia, is struggling to offer cryptocurrency trading to its clients due to the central bank’s stance on digital assets.

Tinkoff CEO Oliver Hughes said the digital bank was willing to offer crypto trading services, but was limited by the policies of the Bank of Russia, CNBC reported. The executive announced the news Thursday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, saying:

“There is no mechanism for us to offer them this product in Russia at the moment because the central bank has this very difficult position.”

Hughes said the bank has seen increasing demand from its customers to invest in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), noting that there are “qualified investors who know what they’re doing.” The CEO noted that there are still some concerns regarding the use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and the risks of high volatility.

“I hope that over time this will evolve and that we can meet the central bank’s goals, ensuring that there are no money laundering problems, ensuring that investors are protected. , but also to offer products in a responsible manner, “said Hugues.

Tinkoff is one of the most popular banks in Russia, class the third largest bank in demand after the state-backed Sberbank and VTB in September 2020, according to a study by Deloitte. The bank is known for its “Tinkoff Investments” service, which allows private investors to invest in products such as stocks, bonds and currencies.

In February, a spokesperson for Tinkoff Investments told Cointelegraph that Tinkoff was not considering starting cryptocurrency trading because the “legal status of crypto in Russia was not yet determined.” “In legal terms, crypto is not money, nor property, information or means of payment,” said the representative.

Russia officially passed its main cryptocurrency law, “On Digital Financial Assets,” in January this year. Last month, local regulators launched a partial lifting of Russia’s ban on crypto payments, as the DFA bans the use of crypto as a payment method.

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