Report: Revamped Law on Digital Assets Drops ‘Cryptocurrency’
The Russian crypto regulatory framework has been delayed for months. In May, three bills were filed in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, and were scheduled for adoption in July, as ordered by President Putin himself. However, deputies found it hard to synchronize and compile the drafts into a single legislation – after the first reading this spring, they postponed the second reading and the final voting for the fall session.
The revised law “On digital financial assets” will be presented for public discussions in October and hopefully adopted by the end of the year. The word cryptocurrency has created a lot of headaches for Russian lawmakers. They’ve been trying to come up with legal definitions for a number of new terms associated with the fintech industry without contradicting the current law which regards the ruble as the only legal tender and bans all money surrogates. It turns out they have decided to get rid of “cryptocurrency” altogether, according to Izvestia – the outlet claims to have seen the latest version of the draft.
Another significant update concerns crypto mining. Initially, the law defined the activity as the process of creating cryptocurrency. Now Izvestia writes that the document describes it as the issuance of tokens for the purpose of attracting capital investments – a definition that better suits ICOs in fact. In any case, tokens will represent property rights and ownership stakes. Registered local and foreign companies and private individuals will be allowed to issue digital coins, provided they are secured with other assets.
It’s also worth noting that an alternative bill has been proposed by an industry organization uniting some of the largest business enterprises in the country. Unlike the state-sponsored law, this draft authored by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) stipulates granting a special status to cryptocurrencies.
The Dogs Bark but the Caravan Moves On
It’s highly unlikely that the Russians will suddenly stop buying, selling and using cryptocurrency, just because the term does not appear in the legal lexicon of their deputies. A great number of trading platforms offer them the opportunity to enter the crypto ecosystem. Payment processors and banks continue to work with exchanges and exchangers, despite the legal uncertainty at the present moment and the upcoming ambiguous legislation.
Local crypto media listed some of the most popular platforms in Russia – Exmo, Livecoin, Yobit, Hitbtc, C-cex, and Spectrocoin. Another article rated the platforms according to their trading volume – Binance, Exmo, Livecoin, Yobit, Hitbtc, Poloniex, and others. Some of them, like the UK-based Exmo, support crypto-ruble trades and are popular not only in the Russian Federation, but also in the former Soviet space, including Ukraine where it is one of the three leading exchanges, along with Kuna and BTC Trade UA.
There are plenty of options to trade and no law is going to take them away from Russian citizens who want to get involved in cryptocurrency. A third post published recently detailed how crypto enthusiasts in Russia can exchange coins with rubles and get their money sent to their bank accounts, crypto and fiat wallets. A plethora of platforms process both crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat transactions, whether members of the State Duma realize that or not.
A useful service called Best Change offers Russians the opportunity to get the most favorable exchange rate for their currency, digital or fiat. Just pick a pair – BCH or BTC to a Qiwi rubles wallet, Yandex Money to Ethereum, or a number of other combinations with bank transfers and card payments – and the website will spit back dozens of verified online exchangers supporting the desired transaction. Traders can check the digital reserves of each platform, use statistical market data, and even get email notifications when someone is ready to meet their price.
Do you think the future of cryptocurrencies depends on the regulations adopted by governments? Tell us in the comments section below.