Russia: Vladimir Putin Signals Obligatory Cryptocurrency Regulation Will Begin ‘July 1’

Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has signalled cryptocurrency regulation in the country should become law “by July 1” this year, according to the official government publication Parlamentskaya Gazeta Feb. 28.

Putin has set in stone the release date for a regulatory package, now called the Digital Assets Regulation Bill, which first appeared last year.

Its introduction will end years of uncertainty in which cryptocurrency - along with investors corporate and private - lay in a gray area, with local authorities in Russia taking various contradictory moves to decide which aspects of it were and were not legal.

Last week, a court in St. Petersburg annulled a law enacted in July 2017 which suddenly banned the distribution of educational materials related to Bitcoin.

“Operation of cryptocurrency markets is linked to specific risks, and nationwide regulation of this arena is therefore essential,” parliamentary finance committee chairman Anatoly Aksakov said in an appraisal during a discussion late February.

At the same time, lawmakers in Moscow are currently preparing ICO and crowdfunding laws, some key details of which continue to cause friction between the central bank and government ministers.

According to Parlamentskaya Gazeta, the Central Bank of Russia specifically wishes to criminalize ICO token investments, while the Ministry of Finance (MinFin) wants regulation.

“The central bank has come out against the legalization of this kind of digital currency inasmuch as citizens could then actively invest in instruments without considering possible risks,” Aksakov commented on the ongoing deadlock.