The local parliament – State Duma – passed a final law on digital financial assets this week, providing the legal status to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
The bill was adopted in the first reading back in May of 2018. Since then it has been significantly revised. According to the current third version, the digital assets become a legal asset class, which might be officially used for the investments or as the instrument for saving.
However, the legislative authorities still prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method to pay for goods or services, the local news portal RBC reports.
The document further defines the term of digital currency, characterizing it as a collection of electronic data, that is neither an international monetary unit nor a monetary unit of Russia.
As stated, the Digital Financial Asset law will come into force from the first day of January 2021. From then on the new bill will enable Russian citizens to buy cryptocurrencies in credit institutions, if these digital assets were issued within the local legislation framework. Otherwise, the purchase will not be possible. The Russians will still have the ability to acquire digital assets issued outside local law but on foreign websites alone.
From January the Russian cryptocurrency companies will be able to issue their own stable coins and trade them on the digital asset exchanges. As claims Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market:
We have been asked many times by businesses to pass the law more quickly so that they can issue secured assets, including the so-called stablecoins. These stablecoins can be issued, exchanged, sold, including for assets issued in foreign information systems.
Reportedly, the local cryptocurrency companies will be allowed to issue, purchase, sell and account for digital assets within the framework of a special information system, adjusted and maintained by the Central Bank, that becomes the institutional authority, with the right to issue digital currencies inside Russian jurisdiction as well as oversee the activities of operators of information systems.
The Central Bank also keeps the right to determine the characteristics of digital currencies, the option though available to qualified investors only. The financial authority was against cryptocurrency issuance just a few months ago claiming that the legalization and circulation of cryptos is an unjustified risk, which should be managed through imposing penalties.
The bill, however, comes out with no clear statements, determining cryptocurrency miners’ situation and token regulation within the jurisdiction. The final reading, when Russian Duma passed the bill, was the third this year and excluded a number of topics. The legislative institution will be coming back to digital asset law during the autumn session.