Russia to Legalize Digital Assets


Within two weeks, digital assets and ICOs should obtain legal status and become regulated in Russia. Facebook’s new Libra currency, however, won’t be invited to the party.

The Russian State Duma is ready to adopt long-awaited legislation on digital assets within two weeks, the local media outlet Tass reports. Citing the Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev in a recent interview,

“We discussed the bill and agreed on the final version of the text during a meeting last week. Fundamentally, everything is settled now. We are making the final revisions, and, hopefully, we’ll be ready to adopt it in the second reading within two weeks.”

The Duma will also adopt a separate bill that will regulate Initial Coin Offerings (ICO). This concept will become part of a broader law on alternative ways of raising funds by means of crowdfunding.

In May, Anatoliy Aksakov, chairman of the financial market committee of the lower chamber of the parliament, said that the legislators had to delay the adoption of the cryptocurrency law. This was because the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was required to expand the terminology of the proposed legislation. However, he confirmed that the law would be passed in June, by the end of the spring session.

Notably, earlier this year, Russian president Vladimir Putin instructed parliament to adopt cryptocurrency legislation by July 1, 2019.

Meanwhile, Russian authorities joined the chorus of the political elite around the globe expressing a fierce criticism against Facebook’s Libra currency that was announced yesterday.

Russia will not be legalizing Libra, however, Russian citizens will be able to purchase it on foreign cryptocurrency trading platforms, Aksakov said in an interview with local radio station Kommersant FM, “In my opinion, Facebook coin won’t be legally adopted as means of payment on the territory of Russia.”

Russia has no plans to legalize active circulation of cryptocurrency instruments based on public blockchains as it may threaten the national financial system. Moreover, the country is going to limit or even prohibit the creation of cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms for trading such coins, Aksakov added.

“If someone wants to purchase these instruments from platforms that operate under foreign jurisdictions, they may do it at their own peril.”

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