Russia’s Legislative Ban On Cryptocurrency Delayed Because Of The Coronavirus

The unexpected COVID-19 outbreak is delaying the adoption of Russia’s legislation “On Digital Financial Assets,” according to a government official. However, he outlined that the law is completed. It will define cryptocurrency usage in the country, but it will also ban them from being used as a means of payment.

Russia Postponing Crypto Law (Again)

Russia’s law regarding digital usage in the country has been discussed since early 2018, according to Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma committee on the financial markets. Since then, however, internal disputes prevented its adoption a few times. Now, a local report indicated that it was postponed again, but this time the reason is the novel coronavirus.

The COVID-19 outbreak, which has caused over 40,000 death cases around the world, is hampering the adoption of all legislative processes in Russia. Aksakov warned that the document “On Digital Financial Assets” might be delayed “probably until the end of spring.”

Despite the postponement, Aksakov shared some light on the upcoming legislation’s purposes. He explained that it will define digital assets, but ultimately it will ban them from serving as payment methods:

“We came to the conclusion that it is necessary to define these tools but to prohibit their use as a means of payment. The law will define digital financial assets, the procedure for their issue, and circulation. It will also include the issue and circulation of digital assets secured by goods.”

The new law will also have strict and clear rules on fighting money-laundering and any other illegal activities, where criminals can employ digital assets, the official added. It will also regulate but not interfere with cryptocurrency exchanges, as long as they “do not violate it.”

The bill, however, doesn’t mention anything in particular about cryptocurrency mining. Aksakov believes that it’s a form of business that produces value, so it should be taxed.

Digital Ruble To Come?

As Cryptopotato reported in December 2019, Russia’s central bank had begun testing digital currencies backed by real assets in a regulatory sandbox. It implied that the country had advanced notably with the development process of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Aksakov confirmed that a cryptocurrency ruble will appear in time without specifying when exactly. The State Duma representative also noted that it will be blockchain-based. However, he believes that the Central Bank of Russia will regulate and control the usage.

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