At the start Bitcoin will be available for trading only for “qualified investors”. According to the MICEX spokesman Alexei Moiseyev a qualified investor is someone with $100+K in personal assets or $3.5 million in corporate assets for investment firms. The limits are imposed to supposedly prevent money laundering and make the transactions more traceable.
The plan to add Bitcoin to MICEX is extremely important for the whole cryptocurrency scene, because this is the first “brick and mortar” stock exchange to add Bitcoin. In addition, this is a strong indicator that Russia is trying to embrace blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies at the highest levels.
There are speculations that Vitalik Buterin‘s recent meeting with Putin contributed to Russian cryptocurrency adoption measures:
— Tuur Demeester (@TuurDemeester) August 30, 2017
Putin met with Buterin on June 2, 2017 @ Saint-Petersburg’ economic forum, discussing the future of cryptocurrencies in Russia. Namely, their meeting resulted in a statement that Russia is ready to create a national virtual currency based on Ethereum.
A press-release published on August 11, 2017 announced that National Settlement Depository (the body servicing Moscow Exchange’s trading infrastructure and logistics) are starting to develop a blockchain platform in collaboration with Waves Platform. First and foremost the NSD is interested in having the infrastructure for MICEX customers, and the necessary legislation for cryptocurrency trading is supposed to appear in fall 2017.