One local industry executive revealed a possible method for the Bank of Russia (BoR) to block cryptocurrency transactions amid uncertainty in Russia’s future of cryptocurrency.
Forbes Russia reported that Andrey Mikhaylishin (CEO of local crypto payment startup Joys) said that the Russian central banking is currently considering various options to allow its crypto ban.
Mikhaylishin stated that one possible method of preventing debit card payments to crypto-exchanges or wallets using merchant categories codes (MCC) is one. According to the report, employees at Bank of Russia informed Mikhaylishin about this blocking method.
MCC codes, four-digit numbers that credit card processors like Visa and Mastercard use to identify a merchant’s primary business activities, are four-digit numbers. Crypto transactions, for example, are identified by the 6051 MCC Code, while grocery store payments have the 5411MCC code. According to the report, local banks could be forced by the Bank of Russia to ban transactions using the 6051 MCC Code.
The potential plan is still being discussed in Russia. However, some industry leaders have doubted its effectiveness.
Maria Stankevich is a member the Russian Committee on Blockchain Technologies and Cryptoeconomics and told Cointelegraph that MCC-based restrictions could cause transparent businesses to leave the country, but not affect illegal cryptoexchanges.
“I’m 100% certain that if they ban transfers to cryptocurrency with the correct MCC, honest exchanges will be banned from the market.” Grey crypto exchanges will continue to exist, but they will use other codes for transactions.
Stankevich said that the miscoding penalties at Visa and other providers are not sufficient to force illegal crypto exchanges from their operations. There are at least 50 grey crypto-businesses in Russia, according to previous reports. They are located in Moscow City (Russia’s financial district).
He expressed optimism about Russia’s cryptocurrency industry, noting that Russia’s Bank of Russia is the only regulator against crypto adoption.
“We know that the central banks are against crypto and want it banned. But I don’t believe that this will happen for Russia, because the central banking is there in the minority.”
Related: Bank of Russia Governor: It’s possible to ban crypto in Russia
Stankevich said, “I know many Russian high-ranking officials that understand the importance crypto,” Stankevich continued.
This news comes just days after Elvira Nabiullina, Bank of Russia Governor, announced that the bank would not allow crypto to be used in the local financial system. A second bank executive claimed that Russians would only be allowed to invest in cryptos like Bitcoin (BTC), through foreign companies.