Russia’s Ministry of Finance Legalizes Cryptocurrency Trading, Central Bank Disagrees

The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation (Minfin) has presented the Digital Assets Regulation Bill which defines and establishes a regulatory system for cryptocurrencies, ICOs, mining and trading, local news agency TASS reported today Jan. 25.

Notably, the central bank of Russia disagrees with Ministry of Finance that cryptocurrency exchange should be legally accepted. According to the central bank, the digital currency trading rules should be only applied to tokens that would attract financial investments.

According to TASS, the authors of the bill are confident that the legal status of cryptocurrency would reduce the risks of fraud and provide fiscal transparency, which is expected to increase tax revenue of the government. In contrast, banning cryptocurrency trading would likely only lead to the emergence of a black market.

The bill defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets which are not legal tender in Russia.

As for cryptocurrencies and tokens exchanged for other cryptocurrencies, Russian ruble and foreign currencies, Minfin is reported to claim that it protects the funds of unqualified investors by allowing trading only via authorized cryptocurrency exchange operators.

Concerning ICOs, tokens are allowed to be issued by legal entities or private operators for the purpose of fundraising. ICOs must be accompanied with legal documentation that discloses the details of the contract such as the issuer’s full name, physical location, official website and token’s price.

According to the document, non-licensed investors will not be allowed to invest more than 50,000 rubles, equivalent to about $900 in each particular ICO.

The final version of the bill was earlier reported to be scheduled for a release no later than July 1, 2018, according to Forklog, so the current version may still be altered until then.