Russia is one of the countries that have put in place strict measures that hinder cryptocurrency trading. China and India have also restricted crypto trading and this has resulted in a sharp increase in demand for over the counter investment in cryptocurrency assets such as Bitcoin.
As noted by CCN, the daily trading volume of digital currencies such as Ethereum and Bitcoin in Moscow reaches $50 million on some days. Well, this figure is small compared to trading activities in the large cryptocurrency exchange platforms, but given the stringent measures put in place by Russian government, the figures are commendable.
At the moment, it is not illegal to invest in cryptocurrencies based on the fact that the local laws categorize cryptocurrencies as properties. The only requirement is that the funds invested in the currencies have to come from a legal source. This means that residents of Russian who are interested in investing in cryptocurrencies can purchase and hold Bitcoin or any other altcoin of choice without worrying about being arrested by the government.
Uncertainty about Regulations
The growth of crypto market in Russia has stagnated compared to other countries that have embraced this new technology. One of the main causes of this stagnation is lack of proper framework and policies to regulate trading. While it is not illegal for people residing in Russia to own a cryptocurrency, it is not clear if companies are permitted by the government to run cryptocurrency trading platforms.
A few months ago, the government did draft three legislations that would govern cryptocurrencies. The three focused on legality of exchange operators and the trading platforms. Unfortunately, the three legislations are yet to be approved and have been postponed until December 2018. Therefore, we will not see any accredited cryptocurrency exchange platform in Russia until the legislations are signed and passed as law.
At the moment, the local OTC platforms are relying on the existing global cryptocurrency exchanges to get cryptocurrencies into the Russian market. On average, they charge 1.5 to 2 percent commission rate and manage to generate hundreds if not thousands of dollars in profit on a daily basis.
Similar Trend in China
Unlike Russia, China has very strict rules that prohibit any form of trading in bitcoin or any other currency. It is illegal for local residents to purchase or get involved in cryptocurrency business. Nonetheless, investors are still trading despite the ban by using VPNs and fintech platforms such as Alipay and OTC.
The government has made it impossible for investors to convert fiat currency into digital assets, but they are still able to invest millions of dollars in altcoins and trade them discreetly on a daily basis. This is proof that it is not possible for governments to take full control of the industry and this is a plus for the industry system it is meant to be decentralized and uncontrolled by the government and central banks.
Concisely, analysts project increased cryptocurrency trading activity in Russia, China, India and other countries thanks to technological advancements that helps investors to hide their online activity.