The Bank of Russia has continued to restrict access to digital currencies for investors, focusing on mutual funds. The bank enlarged the list of assets that these funds can invest in its most recent regulatory update, but it barred them from offering digital currencies directly or through products connected to their value.
While Russia has not outright banned digital currencies (except as a payment method), it has continued to tighten its grip on the industry, essentially rendering it unavailable to a growing number of investors with each new legislative order.
The bank prohibited stock exchanges from listing any financial instruments linked to digital currency starting in July 2021. It also prohibits stock exchanges from listing the stock of any company that deals directly with digital currencies, according to CoinGeek.
The central government is now increasing its hold on the industry. This week, the bank issued a statement prohibiting mutual fund managers from buying digital currencies directly or issuing financial products whose value is based on digital asset prices.
Both accredited and retail investors are subject to the restriction. Authorities in some countries, including Hong Kong, have attempted to impose restrictions that limit the sale of sophisticated digital currency products to certified investors, a move that has sparked controversy. Others, such as the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom, have outright banned them for retail and professional investors.
While the Bank of Russia has recently banned digital currency for mutual funds, RBC reports that these firms have long avoided digital assets. According to the publication, no Russian mutual fund has made a digital currency investment.