Russia Substantially Amends Draft Law on Crypto, Clarity Lacking
Russia’s draft law on crypto has been substantially amended for the second reading in Parliament and reportedly offers even less clarity and more restrictions than the previous version had.
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New Draft Even More Confusing, It Seems
The draft, which was already criticized for failure to make cryptocurrencies a legitimate means of payment in the country, has been reworked, but the document still has no stipulations pertaining to crypto transactions, according to sources familiar with the draft quoted by daily Izvestia.
The phrase “cryptocurrency” has been removed from the draft, while the definition of crypto mining has been drastically revised. While the previous version defined crypto mining as acquisition of cryptocurrencies, or “digital assets,” the most recent version defines mining as issuance of “tokens” with a view to attract investment.
Most likely, existing cryptocurrencies will be treated as “tokens” under the law, but there is no clarity on that yet.
The draft law on crypto was adopted in the first reading by the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament, this May.
To be enacted, the draft will have to pass the second and third readings, be approved by the upper chamber, the Federation Council, and be signed by the president. No date for the second reading has been set yet, but, most likely, it will take place over the next few weeks.
The text of the draft hasn’t been made public yet, and media reports remain the sole source of information about the content of the document.
Tokenize, But Not to Your Heart’s Content
Reportedly, the draft stipulates that local and foreign companies and individuals registered as individual entrepreneurs will be able to issue tokens. However, all issued tokens will have to be backed by the issuer’s assets.
Token issuances will have to be done solely by selected platforms that have professional licenses for the security market and are entered into the Central Bank’s registry. Those exchanges will have to identify token buyers and provide information on them at requests from state agencies.
Separately, the regulator will appoint exchanges that will be allowed to convert tokens into the national and foreign currencies, as well as into other tokens.
To ensure proper investor protection, the draft stipulates restrictions on token advertising. Issuers will have to explain risks involved in investment in tokens, while an investment cap for “unqualified investors” will be introduced.
Judging by all these amendments, the draft crypto law has been made even stricter than the previous version, while still failing to stipulate steps for crypto acceptance.
Observers have repeated their concerns that local token issuers will move to other legislations if the law turns out to be too restrictive.
What’s your take? Is Russia all mixed up when it comes to embracing cryptocurrencies? Sound off in the comments below.
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