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Russia’s Digital Assets Bill Will Outlaw Cryptocurrency Trading


While Russia’s Ministry of Finance has been trying to legalise cryptocurrency in the country, the central bank has apparently been pushing to ban Russians from legally using crypto.

Russia’s recent new bill on digital assets will include a ban on issuing and selling cryptocurrencies, according to the country’s central bank. Bank of Russia (BoR), the country’s major cryptocurrency bill “On Digital Financial Assets” will ban the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies. The bill is yet to be finalised

Head of legal office Alexey Guznov said the institution did not believe cryptocurrency issuance and although trading should be legal in the country. “We believe there are big risks of legalising the operations with the cryptocurrencies, from the standpoint of financial stability, money laundering prevention and consumer protection,” Guznov said. 

The upcoming law will prohibit the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrency and would introduce penalties for violating this law.

“In terms of the functioning of the financial system and consumer protection system, legalisation of the issuance and facilitating the circulation of cryptocurrencies is an unjustified risk. As such, the bill explicitly prohibits emission and organisation of cryptocurrency circulation, introducing legal liability for violating these rules.”  Guznov said.

The central bank contributed to a second draft of the bill in the fall of 2019, clarifying the requirements for the issuers of such tokens, Guznov said. In particular, the issuer should report capital of no less than $660,000 (5 million Russian rubles) and be able to provide the access to the ledger to law enforcement if needed. 

According to Guznov, people will not be punished for owning cryptocurrency “if they made their deal in a jurisdiction that does not prohibit that,” but institutions that make crypto trading and usage possible would be outlawed under the bill. 

The bill might finally get passed during this spring session of the parliament as indicated by Guznov.  

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