March 28, 2023

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A working group for cryptocurrencies has conducted its first meeting in the Russian parliament. The members of the group have been given the responsibility of putting forward legislative proposals aimed at regulating cryptocurrencies and other related matters comprehensively in the Russian Federation. Government officials, lawmakers and experts had a meeting at the State Duma, which is the lower house of Russia’s Federal Assembly. The aim of the meeting was to discuss and propose laws that could help in regulation of the circulation of crypto in the Russian economy. This was disclosed to the media by Alexey Gordeev, who is heading the working group.

Also serving as deputy speaker of the Duma, Gordeev stated that authorities in Moscow are fully aware of the existence as well as growth of the crypto industry in Russia. However, he noted that they had not yet introduced proper regulations for governing the sector. Some partial regulation had been introduced this year with the implementation of the legislation called ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ in January of the year. But, there were still a number of related aspects and activities that were outside the scope of this law, which include crypto taxation, mining as well as trading. 

The current legislation in Russia does not have proper definitions of terms, such as ‘mining’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ and Alexey Gordeev believes that they need to come up with them. Even though cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, have been rejected in Russia as legal tender, the law in the country doesn’t explicitly prohibit the people from transferring or owning these digital assets. The first meeting of the working group was conducted on Tuesday and Gordeev revealed that relevant ministries, representatives of the Bank of Russia and various other departments had participated in it. Reports indicated that these discussions would continue in February, when the group members would take on the task of preparing proposals for laws regarding regulation.

A report will also be reviewed by the lawmakers that will be presented by the Russian central bank regarding its views on the outstanding questions. The monetary authority has expressed its anti-crypto stance and has consistently opposed the use of these digital currencies for payment, calling them ‘money surrogates’. This week, Vladimir Chistyukhin, the Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia, told reporters that they don’t there is a place for cryptocurrencies in the Russian financial market. Earlier in December, Nikolai Zhuravlev, the Federation Council’s Deputy Chairman had announced that the upper house of the Russian parliament is also forming its own group for developing crypto regulations.

Other than senators, this working group would also include representatives of the Ministry of Digital Development, Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Finance. As a matter of fact, representatives from law enforcement agencies, Bank of Russia, the Federal Tax Service and the financial watchdog in Russia, Rosfinmonitoring, will also be part of this working group. The goal is to develop regulations as quickly as possible because the crypto space in Russia is experiencing exponential growth. 

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