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Russia To Allow Fintech Sandboxes Including Blockchain

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Russia has introduced legislation that would legalise crypto and blockchain within a special regulatory environment.

The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation has reportedly prepared a bill that would allow the testing of cryptocurrency and blockchain developments within a special regulatory sandbox.

Blockchain testing in eight industries

The new bill was reportedly introduced by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on March 17. The bill mentioned distributed ledger as one of the technologies that could be explored in the new “experimental regulatory regimes.” 

Such regimes can be established to live-test the new technologies in medicine, transportation, distant learning, financial markets, online commerce and other sectors. The bill gives Russia’s regulators scope to deal with novel tech in a more flexible way, the document says. It’s also suggested that the country’s regions would be able to set up their own local sandboxes.  

The bill would also unlock experimental testing of projects like unmanned vehicles, remote diagnostics as well as personal data usage without written consent.

The central bank to regulate the sandbox 

The Bank of Russia, the central bank, will be act as financial regulator to the sandboxes related to fintech. Representatives of the Economic Development Ministry, which initiated the bill, said that fintech projects operating within sandboxes would be subject to lighter regulation regarding cash reserves, financial reporting and foreign currency controls.

The Bank of Russia has already been running a regulatory sandbox for fintech projects, and has even reported successfully testing a blockchain-based tokenisation pilot by the mining and smelting company Nornickel. 

The central bank’s sandbox only helps to model the possible uses blockchain technology, but does not allow businesses to test their use cases on real clients; and neither does it provide the means for expert and public control over such experiments.

The new bill will allow the creation of sandboxes in which real businesses work with customers. 

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