Cryptocurrencies,  Regulation

Russian parliament committee: make crypto legal

The State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets draft tax bill would give cryptocurrencies legal status—but ban their use as currencies

The State Duma Committee on Financial Markets approved a new draft tax law which grants crypto new legal status, according to the official website of the legislative body.

The Russian Parliament’s new law, the “Amendments to parts one and two of the tax code of the Russian Federation,” grants crypto assets a legal status, but bans their use as means of payment. 

According to a Dec. 24 report by local industry news outlet Forklog, the committee said its approval of the bill was motivated by “the ubiquitous spread of digital technologies and the expansion of the scope of the use of cryptocurrencies, including for illegal purposes.” 

The State Duma Committee on Financial Markets also suggested that the new bill be adopted on the first reading.

According to a Dec. 21 report by state-run news agency Parlamentskaya Gazeta, lower house member Anatoly Aksakov said that the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets expects Russian crypto issuance to surge after the Jan. 1 adoption of the law on digital assets. 

Aksakov also shared a positive outlook on Russia’s adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC):

“From my point of view, the digital ruble is one of the future forms of our ruble, and it should contribute to the development of the financial assets market.”

Aksakov’s remarks about CBDCs follow late October comments by Russia’s finance minister Anton Siluanov. As Modern Consensus reported at the time, he praised the advantages of using such a system and claimed the digital version of Russia’s fiat currency will reduce transaction costs and improve the transparency of settlements.

Russia seems to be slowly opening to cryptocurrencies, just not to the idea of using them as a means of payment. In fact, an early September report by blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis suggests that Russia is among the top crypto asset users in the whole world which makes institutional and legislative reactions rather expected.

Still, Russian authorities are wary of the more liberal crypto services. As Modern Consensus reported in late September, Russian telecom regulator Roskomnadzor banned leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance for allegedly distributing forbidden information, specifically instructions about how to acquire Bitcoin (BTC).

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Adrian is a newswriter based out of Pisa, Italy. He's passionate about cryptocurrency, digital rights, IT, tech and futurology and likes to think about the future in a positive way.