Tinkoff, the biggest online bank in Russia, wants to offer cryptocurrency trading to its clients but says this will take time due to a tough stance from the country’s central bank.
Oliver Hughes, Tinkoff’s CEO, said Thursday there were “qualified investors who know what they’re doing” who want to invest in crypto, but that his company isn’t currently able to offer them those services.
“There’s no mechanism for us to offer that product to them in Russia at the moment because the central bank has got this very tough position,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
A Bitcoin ATM in a grocery store in Russia.Yegor Aleyev | TASS via Getty Images
Russia gave cryptocurrencies like bitcoin legal status in 2020. However, it banned digital assets from being used in payments, saying that only the Russian ruble could be considered legal tender.
Earlier this week, Russian central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina told CNBC that digital currency was the “future for our financial system.” But she was referring to central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs, rather than crypto.