Reports from Moscow today indicate that a State Duma committee will submit the draft law on the regulation of cryptocurrencies on December 28, with the new rules are likely to be passed by the end of March 2018.
The head of financial markets committee in the lower house of Federal Assembly of Russia, Anthony Akasov, will hold a meeting with a narrow circle of high-ranking state officials, where they will put the finishing touches before the bill submission.
The initial discussion will present the regulatory approaches of both the Bank of Russia and Ministry of Finance regarding blockchain, cryptocurrency technologies, ICOs and the operation of cryptocurrency trading platforms.
As reported, Akasov expressed that “the cryptocurrencies will be defined as another property, regardless of its names,” but also stressed that this is not a final decision and all options are still on table.
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Russian politicians repeatedly confirmed that it is necessary to draft laws and expand regulatory jurisdiction in this dynamically developing field, whilst industry participants are concerned about unwarranted interference of law enforcement authorities in business activities involving the use of blockchain technology.
In a bid to protect Russian citizens and firms from the perils of Bitcoin, the finance ministry will draw up a set of rules that will give digital currencies legal grounds in the country.
The latest draft law defines cryptocurrencies as “another property of a special kind”. However, it does not yet describe the rules of taxation or mining activities, which can be considered as “an entrepreneurial activity.” Earlier this month, Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Aleksey Moiseev told the state-backed news channel RT that his government, while taking steps to legitimize cryptocurrencies, could ban its mining activities as it looks for more control of the digital asset class instead of loosening its grip.
As for the regulation of token sales, also known as ICOs, the bill defines the procedures for crypto fundraisers, and will also impose a registration requirement on those selling the digital assets.
Aksakov recalled Moiseev’s speech about possible limitations. He noted: “The ICO is seen as an element of crowdfunding, and the approach is that investors must be limited in the amount they are allowed to invest in each project.”
Answering a question about the creation of a national cryptocurrency, Aksakov noted that such digital coins will not be legalized as a settlement-payment analogue of the ruble. However, the law framework allows banks and their clients to work with crypto assets tied to ruble-denominated assets. For example, customers of regulated credit institutions, which will be authorized by the central bank, will be able to make deposits, through which they can create crypto assets using the blockchain technology.