Again, Russian Legislators Promise to Consider Crypto Laws
January 11, 2019 by Vladimir Litvinov
Russian legislators have promised to consider about 20 draft laws related to crypto over the next few months in a bid to finally create a legal framework for a digital economy in the country. The desire for formal crypto laws gained mainstream political momentum last year in the nation.
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No Less Than 20 Crypto Laws on the Slate for Review
“The creation of a favorable legislative framework for the development of a sustainable digital economy should ensure [Russia] an advantageous position in competition with other countries,” Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of Russian Parliament, said at the opening session of the Duma on January 9th.
According to Volodin, about 20 draft laws dealing with various aspects of digital economy and crypto are to be considered during the Duma’s spring session, while several working groups are to be formed to speed up the process.
The local crypto community welcomed the news, hoping that the consideration of the drafts will finally lead to the adoption of full-fledged domestic crypto legislation.
According to Yuri Pripachkin, president of the Russian Association of the Crypto Industry and Blockchain (RACIB), the creation of the working groups featuring experts and industry professionals should facilitate the adoption of laws that reflect the real needs of the industry.
“The past year showed us that only work by experts and industry professionals could lead to adoption of workable laws,” he was quoted as saying by the business daily RBC. “The creation of working groups will help to cut the gap between industry people and legislators.”
Building Off Momentum from 2018
Meanwhile, for the entire past year, Russian lawmakers were unable to pass comprehensive crypto legislation.
A draft law on digital assets that was supposed to become a legal framework for the crypto sector was adopted by the Duma in the first reading last May but was harshly criticized by industry professionals for being too restrictive and threatening to turn Russia into a crypto-unfriendly country.
A heavily amended version of the draft was re-submitted for consideration in September, but, judging by what information about it was made public, the draft still lacked clarity on major issues.
In November, RACIB proposed amendments to the draft aimed at substantially liberalizing it, but it’s not clear if the legislators are going to take the proposal into consideration.
Meanwhile, Russian public and private organizations are gradually stepping up the use of blockchain-based solutions and state officials are talking about introducing a national cryptocurrency as part of the country’s efforts to lower dependence of the economy on the U.S. dollar.
What’s your take? If you were a policymaker, how would you legislate crypto? Let us know in the comments section below.
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