Legislation making it illegal to pay with cryptocurrencies has been filed with the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament. The sponsors of the bill want to task crypto platforms to prevent transactions that could facilitate payments with digital assets.
Draft Law Banning Use of Cryptocurrency for Payments Submitted to Russian Parliament
Russian lawmakers will review a new bill imposing a ban on the use of digital financial assets, a legal term currently encompassing cryptocurrencies, and utilitarian digital rights, or tokens, as a means of payment in Russia. The document has been submitted to the State Duma by the Chairman of the Financial Market Committee Anatoly Aksakov, the crypto news outlet Forklog reported.
According to the legislature’s information portal, following the draft’s approval by the committee, the members of the lower house are expected to vote on the legislation on first reading in mid-June. If adopted by the deputies, the law will explicitly prohibit crypto payments inside the Russian Federation, on the backdrop of proposals to allow them in foreign trade deals.
The authors of the bill also emphasize that the Russian ruble is the only legal tender in the country. In an explanatory note, they insist the ban will eliminate the risk of employing digital assets as ‘monetary surrogates.’ They plan to oblige the issuers of coins and tokens as well as the operators of exchange and investment platforms to refuse to process transactions related to crypto payments.
The legislation classifies such entities as subjects of Russia’s national payment system. This means they will be required to register with the Central Bank of Russia. The monetary authority has been a strong opponent to the legalization of crypto-related operations, payments in particular, often citing threats to the country’s financial stability, although it recently softened its stance on the possible use of cryptocurrency for international settlements amid Western sanctions.
The authorities in Moscow are now working to adopt comprehensive rules for the country’s crypto space. Currently, the market is only partially regulated by the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which was approved in 2020 and went into force in January, last year.
The adoption of the new law “On Digital Currency” is being delayed by ongoing discussions on some aspects and multiple revisions of the draft, which was initially submitted to the government by the finance ministry in February. Last month, Russian deputies supported on first reading amendments pertaining to the taxation of crypto transactions.