The Bank of Russia is continuing to push for an outright ban on digital assets, but the finance ministry favors regulation that would allow consumers to make investments.
Russia's ministry of finance is heading for a showdown with the country's central bank over cryptocurrencies.
Government officials still want to prohibit digital assets from being used as a means of payment, but plan to soften their stance in other ways.
International crypto exchanges would also be allowed to operate as long as they obtained a license, performed Know Your Customer checks, and had financial safeguards in place.
But all of this contradicts the Bank of Russia, which is preparing bills that would ban private digital currencies from circulating within the country — and fine those who break the rules.
According to the TASS news agency, both organizations have held talks in an attempt to reconcile their differences and find some middle ground, but no "significant progress" has been made.
In a sign that the Ministry of Finance intends to push ahead with its approach, a news release said:
"The proposals received from the Bank of Russia will be taken into account in further work on the draft law insofar as it does not contradict the approaches of the Russian Ministry of Finance."
A Change of Tone
Russia has become the latest country to shift its stance on cryptocurrencies and favor regulation over an outright ban.
There are a number of factors here. Regulation can help legitimize the industry, boosting tax revenues and leading to job creation.
And there's another elephant in the room that needs to be discussed. Tensions between Russia and the West are starting to reach boiling point, with U.S. officials claiming that the Kremlin is on the brink of invading Ukraine. Washington has threatened to impose punishing economic sanctions if an assault takes place, and it's possible this has spurred Moscow to look at Bitcoin from a new perspective.