The idea of allowing companies in certain sectors and regions to use cryptocurrencies is gaining ground in Russia. The proposal was included in a draft law prepared by the Ministry of Economics, a high parliament has expressed its support and big business is discussing its implementation.
Read also: No reason to "bury" cryptocurrencies, says Russian Medvedev
Bill offers to create regulatory sandboxes in the Russian regions
Select entities from the IT industry and the blockchain industry may be authorized to use digital assets in their financial transactions, as reported by the Russian media. The experimental regulatory regime must be implemented in some regions of the vast country, according to a bill presented by the Ministry of Economic Development.
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The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, supports the idea of "pilot regions" where the circulation of cryptocurrencies can be tested, the chairman of the parliamentary committee of the financial markets, Anatoly Aksakov, told the Izvestia sales point . Efforts to regulate cryptographic space continue in different directions, he added, and the establishment of regulatory sandboxes is one of them. Aksakov also detailed:
The law on sandbox legislation, which I hope to adopt in the spring [parliamentary] session, will allow individual companies or a given sector to use cryptographic tools in their economic turnover and commercial operations in some regions.
The Ministry of Economy said that its bill is still under discussion. The potential regions and business entities for the program have not yet been determined but, according to its representatives, companies working with cross-cutting information technology will be able to participate. This includes not only blockchain businesses but also companies that develop quantum technologies and artificial intelligence products.
Local authorities and companies based in the Russian regions of Kaliningrad Oblast and the Republic of Tatarstan have already expressed a desire to participate in the implementation of the proposed regulatory regime. Other regions such as Primorsky Krai, Omsk Oblast, Novosibirsk Oblast, St. Petersburg, the capital Moscow and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea are also potential candidates.
Companies affected by sanctions can use cryptocurrencies
The main Russian companies are discussing the proposal in the Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs' Union (RSPP). The industry-leading organization has already set up a special advisory committee that is investigating related issues, RSPP vice-president Sergey Mytenkov told Izvestia. He believes it is necessary to authorize about a dozen companies to operate with cryptographic financial instruments to make an assessment of the possible legal and economic risks.
Another group of companies that might be interested in cryptographic security crates are those Russian entities that maintain an international presence and have been forced to deal with foreign sanctions and restrictions. Mytenkov said that the cryptocurrencies and digital tokens supported by the assets can be used by these companies to attract capital and make payments.
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The latest regulatory development regarding cryptocurrencies in Russia comes before the second reading in Duma of a package of draft laws aimed at regulating cryptographic space. The notes were voted in first reading in May 2018, but their adoption has been postponed many times and now the legislators should see them again in February.
Since last spring, the original texts have been revised significantly and references to cryptocurrency, token, mining and smart contracts have been abandoned. Under pressure from industry, Russian legislators have recently expanded the legal definition of "digital financial assets" to cover cryptocurrencies. However, the Russian media reported last week that the Presidential Council for Codification has criticized the legislation. The negative evaluation of the Kremlin means that there may be further changes.
What do you think of the proposal to allow Russian companies to operate with cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comments section below.
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