Stock exchanges in Russia should not list investment products related to cryptocurrency prices, the country’s central bank, which regulates the industry, said in an announcement on Thursday.
According to a notice and explanatory letter published by the Bank of Russia, stock exchange operators should avoid listing any securities, such as ETFs, that provide payments based on the prices of cryptocurrencies, digital assets issued abroad, cryptocurrency price indexes, crypto derivatives, and securities issued by cryptocurrency-related funds.
Asset managers should also exclude such securities from mutual-fund portfolios, and brokers should not offer such securities to non-qualified investors.
The bank’s Securities Market and Commodity Market Department is the regulator for Russia’s equity markets. The ruling is designed to prevent retail investors getting access to products they may not understand.
“Cryptocurrencies and digital assets are characterized by high volatility, low transparency of pricing mechanisms, low liquidity, technological, regulatory and other specific risks,” the bank wrote. “Purchase of investment products tied to them exposes people who lack experience and professional knowledge to a high risk of losing money.”
The ban does not include central bank digital currencies that might be issued, nor digital assets issued in accordance to the Russian law and registered with the Bank of Russia, the regulator added.
Russia passed a law regulating digital assets in June 2020. Earlier this year, more regulations were added prohibiting Russian public officials from owning crypto and obliging election candidates to report their crypto holdings. Meantime, bitcoin (BTC, +0.98%) has been actively used for fundraising by Russia’s civil and political activists and independent journalists.
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