Moscow Stock Exchange is creating an infrastructure to trade cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The exchange plans to trade cryptocurrencies as well as derivatives and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based on them. This announcement closely follows the plan by Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev to regulate bitcoin as a financial asset.
Moscow Exchange Embraces Cryptocurrency
Moscow Stock Exchange is reportedly working on creating an infrastructure for cryptocurrency trading, the Russian state-owned news agency Tass was told at a press conference held by the exchange. The exchange was quoted saying:
We are already working on creating an infrastructure for such [cryptocurrency] trades, in particular, a platform for post-trading services for crypto assets.
Moscow Exchange is the largest exchange group in Russia. It operates trading markets in equities, bonds, derivatives, the foreign exchange market, money markets and precious metals. It also operates Russia’s central securities depository and the country’s largest clearing service provider.
Currently, the exchange is in talks with regulators to clarify all legal issues related to how it can trade cryptocurrencies on the Russian exchange market and to protect the interest of their purchasers, the press conference revealed.
Trading Instruments to Be Offered
Moscow Stock Exchange’s cryptocurrency platform will offer a number of trading instruments including derivatives and ETFs based on cryptocurrencies, as well as cryptocurrencies themselves, detailed Russian business publication BFM. The exchange stated:
We are ready to organize trading in financial products for which there is a demand from bidders and their clients and which provide sufficient legal protection…On the stock exchange, it is possible to trade both the cryptocurrencies themselves and derivatives on them, as well as trading stock exchange funds on cryptocurrencies.
A second traditional stock exchange in Russia is also reportedly considering adding cryptocurrency trading to its platform, according to Tass. St. Petersburg Stock Exchange is the third-most active stock exchange in Russia by volume, and the largest outside of Moscow.
Russia’s Efforts to Regulate Cryptocurrency
The exchanges’ moves are in line with the recent announcement by Russian Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev regarding his proposal to treat bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as financial assets.
News.Bitcoin.com reported on his interview with Russia 24 TV channel, where he also proposed restricting cryptocurrency trading to qualified investors. Moiseev also revealed on Monday that he had been in discussion with the central bank as well as Moscow Stock Exchange regarding cryptocurrency regulation and trading.
At the press conference, the exchange concurred with deputy finance minister, stating that cryptocurrency trading on its platform will only be allowed for qualified investors, Tass conveyed.
Meanwhile, Russia is still in the process of drafting regulation for digital currency, including how to define it. The draft bill was reportedly delayed due to ongoing discussions regarding its classification.