Working Group Meets to Prepare Regulations for Cryptocurrencies in Russia

A crypto working group has held its first meeting at Russia’s parliament. Its members have been tasked to put forward legislative proposals designed to comprehensively regulate cryptocurrencies and related matters in the Russian Federation.

Working Group Gathers at State Duma to Draft Crypto Regulations

Lawmakers, government officials, and experts have met at the lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia, the State Duma, to discuss and propose new legislation aimed at regulating the circulation of cryptocurrencies in the country, the head of the working group, Alexey Gordeev, announced to the media.

Gordeev, who is also deputy speaker of the Duma, remarked that authorities in Moscow are well aware of the existence and the development of the crypto industry in the country. He noted, however, that proper regulations for the sector are yet to be introduced.

While cryptocurrencies were partially regulated with the law “On Digital Financial Assets” which went into force in January, a range of related activities and aspects remained outside its scope, including crypto trading and taxation.

Current Russian legislation lacks definitions of terms like ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘mining’, and Alexey Gordeev believes these have to be provided. While Russia rejects digital currencies like bitcoin as a legal tender, the law does not explicitly prohibit Russian citizens from owning and transferring these assets.

Gordeev revealed that representatives of the Bank of Russia, relevant ministries, and other departments took part in the working group’s first meeting on Tuesday. Discussions between them will continue in February when they will take on the task to prepare proposals for legislative regulation, the Russian business news portal Prime reported.

The lawmakers are also expected to review a report in which the central bank will present its views on the outstanding questions in detail. The monetary authority has maintained a hardline stance on cryptocurrencies, consistently opposing their use in payments and calling them money surrogates. “We don’t see a place for cryptocurrency in the Russian financial market,” Deputy Chairman Vladimir Chistyukhin told reporters this week.

Earlier in December, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Nikolai Zhuravlev announced that the upper house of parliament is forming its own working group on crypto regulations. Besides senators, it will comprise representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development, and Ministry of Digital Development as well as Rosfinmonitoring, Russia’s financial watchdog, the Federal Tax Service, Bank of Russia, and law enforcement agencies.

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