Tinkoff Bank wants to start providing its clients with the opportunity to trade cryptocurrency, Oliver Hughes, head of the bank’s parent company, TCS Group, said in an interview with CNBC. He explained that so far this option isn’t possible due to the tough position of the Central Bank, although qualified investors are showing interest in the topic.
Governments have become increasingly wary of cryptocurrencies in large part due to their use in illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing, the newspaper notes.
In addition, digital assets are also very volatile: the price of Bitcoin fell from a record $ 64,829 in April to $ 30,000 a month later.
Hughes noted that he understands the regulator’s concerns about retail investors who make poor investment decisions and the use of cryptocurrency to launder criminal funds. At the same time, interest in this asset class is growing, he said.
“Hopefully, over time, this will evolve, and we’ll be able to achieve the aims of the central bank, making sure there’s no money laundering issues, making sure we’re protecting investors”, Hughes said.
Thus, the regulator is concerned that retail investors will not survive in a volatile and high-risk market. However, Hughes hopes that the attitude of the regulator will change over time.
In addition, investor interest in this asset class is growing every year.
The founder of Tinkoff Bank criticized the cryptocurrency
Tinkoff is one of the most popular banks in Russia. Ranking third in terms of demand after state-owned Sberbank and VTB.
In March, on the Clubhouse social network, the founder of Tinkoff Bank, Oleg Tinkov, criticized the cryptocurrency. According to the billionaire, digital assets needed for people who “want to hide something”. Tinkov said that he sees no reason to pay attention to cryptocurrency. Since it is banned in Russia and will not be allowed in the near future.
Although during the first cryptocurrency hype in 2017, he announced his intention to develop a Tinkoff Coin token.
Digital currency is the future of the financial system
Russia has granted cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin legal status in 2020. However, the country prohibited from using digital assets for payments, since only the Russian ruble considered legal tender.
However, the position of the authorities is gradually changing. Earlier this week, it became known that State Duma deputies are discussing the possibility of using cryptocurrency as a contractual means of payment. If laws are passed, digital money can be paid under contracts.
In addition, the chairman of the Central Bank said that digital currency is “the future of our financial system”. But she was referring to the central bank’s digital currency, not cryptocurrency. She noted that there is a need for fast and cheap payment systems. And digital currencies of central banks can fill this gap.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, which are designed to be decentralized, CBDCs are issued and controlled by the government. Just like China and the United States, Russia is exploring the possibility of using a digital version of the national currency.
The regulator has already issued an advisory report and developed a digital currency concept. The test version may appear at the end of this year.