Russia’s Duma May Adopt Law on Crypto Assets in the Coming Weeks

Reports from the Russian Federation’s parliament (State Duma) suggest that the long-awaited digital financial assets bill could see the light of day as early as March. It would seem that the long-standing impasse between pro-crypto companies and the crypto-cynic central bank may finally be at an end.

Russian's Duma May adopt law on crypto assets
Image Source: CoinNewsSpan

The move to $9,553 set a daily high for the third time this past week, having soared past the $9200 and $9400 marks on January 28. Those following the market will also note the rise in purchasing volume and overall market capitalization over the last few days, all of which point to a strong bullish trend.

According to Russian news outlet, RIA News, the Duma’s financial committee is hopeful for a resolution on the bill and pass it into law in the upcoming spring session, scheduled for sometime in March. The committee’s chairman, Anatoly Aksakov went on to state that although there were still “conflicting views” on cryptocurrencies between the Central Bank of Russia and pro-crypto bodies, the parties had now found common ground.

“Regarding digital financial assets, unfortunately, the Bank of Russia and the competent authorities have conflicting views … Unfortunately, until recently, disagreements could not be settled. Last week there was another meeting, it seems that the positions were agreed. Now a text is being prepared, and if After mailing this text to the relevant institutions, the Central Bank and competent authorities, the legal department will support, then in March, I believe, we can come up with such a bill for consideration in the second, third readings.”

Aksakov said at a recent meeting with State Department heads. 

This is a welcome development among crypto enthusiasts in Russia who have been awaiting the progression of the crypto bill since the Duma passed the first readings almost two years ago.

What’s the Crypto Situation Like in Russia?

Russia’s central bank has long been skeptical about cryptocurrencies and there is yet to be a determined legal status on smart contracts, ICOs and mining across the country. All that could change, slowly but surely, should this bill be passed into law. 

However, there might still be a few hurdles along the way as senior officials of the bank stated their willingness to back a proposed national ban on crypto payments back in November. Their reason then was that crypto payments carried significant risks, especially the potential for money laundering and the bankrolling of terrorist activities.

But amid calls for crypto and blockchain legislation among large Russian businesses on February 3, Aksakov admitted that the time had come for the country to create a legal framework to oversee the adoption of blockchain technology for economic operations.

The Digital Financial Assets Law has been a Long Time Coming

It started in March 2018 when three bills proposing the introduction of regulations in the digital economy space and the addition of “digital law”, “digital money” and other related terminologies to Russia’s Civil Code was submitted to the State Duma. By May, the lawmakers had adopted the three bills in the first reading. But their version received heavy criticism from crypto industry experts and discussions ceased for the time being. 

In January 2019, there were reports that the parliament was gearing to reopen discussions and progress to the second reading. Chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin was said to have urged lawmakers to focus on expediting the bills, including the one on cryptocurrencies. Based on the proposed timeline, the regulations were supposed to come into law by July 2019. 

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