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James Carter

March 26, 2023

Russian Lawmakers to Roll Out Crypto Legislation-What happened?

Legislators in Russia have stated that the country’s long-awaited crypto legislation will be ready for discussion in parliament the following month, despite the fact that critics have voiced reservations.

Russian Lawmakers to Roll Out Crypto Legislation

Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the State Duma’s committee on the financial markets, was quoted in Finam as saying that the “regulation of cryptocurrencies” would be “adopted in April.”

The law, which has been in the works for a number of years, can largely be attributed to Aksakov, who served as its primary architect. The bill is now stalled in the committee stage due to serious disagreements between the various law enforcement agencies and the Central Bank on the one hand and the majority of the major ministries on the other.

On the other hand, the media outlet reported that Aksakov spoke positively about the future during this week’s Russian Financial Market Forum.

The Member of Parliament stated:

There is now no oversight or governance over virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies. There was a proposal made, but it never went anywhere […]. I believe that in the month of April, we will […] conduct a speedy review of [an updated bill]. Actions relevant to responsibility, including criminal penalty for illicit transactions involving bitcoin, have already been agreed upon.

According to Aksakov, it is “natural” that cryptocurrencies “should” not be allowed to be used as a method of payment on the “domestic market.”

On the other hand, he said that it would be possible for Russians and Russian enterprises to use cryptocurrency as a payment method on platforms located outside of Russia. The representative remarked:

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The perspective that we are taking is that “[Crypto] may be employed […] outside of our legal sphere.”

Opponents Have Something to Say About Russian Crypto Law
The new bill, which would purportedly seek to punish illegal crypto exchanges and brokers with jail time, has received a lot of negative feedback from critics who are concerned about it.

According to Govorit Moskva, this week Sergei Shvetsov, a former deputy chairman of the Central Bank, stated that such measures were extremely severe. He compared them to the measures that were adopted in the days of the Soviet Union to put an end to the trade of foreign currencies on the underground market.

In his opinion, crypto criminals should not be subject to “criminal culpability,” as Shvetsov stated in the following:

“Why should this situation be subject to criminal liability? We are reminded of the events that took place under [the leadership of the Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev] when civilians were executed for selling $20. We have no business going in that direction at all. “This is not what any of us are hoping to see,”

In an interview earlier this week, Aksakov declared that Bitcoin (BTC) has “no future,” and he advocated for ruble- and commodity-backed coinage to take off in the digital arena instead. He asserted that the distribution of such coins would begin later this year as well as in the year 2024.

It is not yet clear whether the proposed legislation that Aksakov discussed during the event would also include the much-touted crypto-mining laws or whether mining will be addressed in a separate proposed legislation.