Russians are among the world’s most active participants in the cryptocurrency market, according to the country’s central bank.
The Bank of Russia released a new review on financial stability on Thursday, noting the country’s growing role in the $ 2.8 trillion market.
Citing estimates reported by major local banks in July 2021, the Bank of Russia suggested that the total annual crypto transaction volumes of the Russian population amount to 350 billion rubles, or $ 5 billion.
It is unclear whether the Bank of Russia has converted these estimates, as The price of Bitcoin (BTC) has almost doubled since July, going from around $ 30,000 to over $ 60,000 in November.
In the report, the Bank of Russia also noted that the Russian Federation is among the world leaders in terms of visits to the Binance crypto exchange. According to data from digital intelligence provider SimilarWeb, Russia is the second largest in terms of total traffic on Binance after Turkey.
The Russian central bank also noted that Russia is one of the largest Bitcoin mining countries in the world, ranking third in terms of national hash rates, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index as of August 2021.
Despite admitting Russia’s leading position in the global cryptocurrency market, the Bank of Russia still outlined the main risks associated with the industry, including those associated with financial stability, investor protection, money laundering, and criminal financing, as well as ESG risks.
The central bank did not suggest any immediate measures to address these risks, but said it would be closely monitoring the market to identify potential threats:
“The relationship between digital currencies and the financial sector remains limited at this time. However, the rapid growth and widespread adoption of digital currencies would pose greater risks both globally and for the Russian financial market. “
The Bank of Russia has taken a tough stance on cryptocurrencies, and Governor Elvira Nabiullina argued that responsible governments should not push crypto adoption. The central bank is known for not allowing local banks to deal with cryptocurrencies and for promoting the use of its own digital currency. This has led to a situation where no Russian cryptocurrency exchange can now legally offer its services.