The Russian central bank is considering a ban on cryptocurrency investments in the country, citing concerns about financial stability posed by the growing number of crypto transactions, according to two financial market sources close to the bank.

Russia has argued against cryptocurrencies for years, claiming they could be used to launder money or finance terrorism. In 2020, it granted them legal status but prohibited their use as a means of payment.

The central bank is currently in discussions with market participants and experts about a potential ban. If lawmakers approve it, it could apply to new purchases of crypto assets but not to previous purchases, according to one of the financial market sources.

Another source close to the Bank of Russia stated that the central bank's current stance on cryptocurrencies is one of "complete rejection." The central bank indicated that it was preparing an advisory report outlining its position on the matter. It made no specific comments.

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According to the central bank, Russians conduct approximately $5 billion in cryptocurrency transactions per year.

Ksenia Yudaeva, the Central Bank's first deputy governor, stated earlier this month that the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies has raised concerns about potential threats to financial stability.

"The situation in developed market countries more and more resembles the so-called shadow financial system," Yudaeva wrote in an article, adding that the use of cryptocurrencies lowered the efficiency of monetary policies.

Citing China's experience, she stated that Russia's cryptocurrency regulation needed to be further adjusted.

China stepped up its crackdown on cryptocurrencies in September, imposing a blanket ban on all crypto transactions and mining, weighing on bitcoin and other major coins, and putting pressure on crypto and blockchain-related stocks.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Russia is considering issuing its own digital rouble, following a global trend toward developing digital currencies in order to modernize financial systems, speed up payments, and mitigate the threat posed by other cryptocurrencies.