The Russian government introduces a crypto bill in Parliament
In Russia, the Ministry of Finance is pressing for cryptocurrency legislation (Crypto Bill).
Cryptocurrency payments will continue to be outlawed.
The Russian Ministry of Finance is moving forward with its proposal to regulate cryptocurrencies and has submitted a bill in Parliament to that effect. According to a news release issued on Monday, the bill was introduced on Feb. 18 and is based on a previously agreed roadmap established by numerous government entities, including significant law-enforcement agencies.
The announcement underlines a policy divergence with the Bank of Russia, which opposes regulation and would prefer to see cryptocurrency trade and mining prohibited. According to TASS news agency, the central bank, which has been pushing forward with the pilot of its central bank digital currency, the digital ruble, has proposed fining crypto trading and issue with fines of up to 500,000 rubles ($6,360) for individuals and 1 million rubles for enterprises.
The Ministry of Finance stated that the Bank of Russia’s reservations “would be considered in further work on this law where they do not contradict the Ministry of Finance approach.”
The bill’s official text is not yet available in the online legislative document database.
The bill classifies cryptocurrencies as an investment tool rather than legal cash and prohibits them from common trade. It also establishes regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges and over-the-counter desks, which must meet specific criteria to receive a license and be included in a government database.
According to the press release, all cryptocurrency-to-fiat transactions must be handled through bank accounts. Users must undergo know-your-customer (KYC) checks with banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Investors will be required to pass online examinations to demonstrate appropriate knowledge of cryptocurrencies and their risks. Users would also have to be informed about the exchanges’ risks of investing in cryptocurrency. The ones who pass the test can support up to 600,000 rubles in crypto per year, while those who do not are limited to 50,000 rubles. There will be no restrictions for qualified investors.
Exchanges must retain their crypto and their users’ assets in separate accounts and keep track of their crypto addresses. Users must not be held accountable for any debt incurred due to their transactions.
The proposed bill will also control cryptocurrency mining. According to the news statement, it will be overseen by specific government entities, which did not provide any other information.