A new version of Russia’s major draft bill on cryptocurrency regulation does not include criminal offense codes as lawmakers are expected to hold the bill's second reading tomorrow.
According to official records of the State Duma, Russia’s legislative body, the Duma’s Committee on Financial Market has proposed the second reading of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets,” or DFA, on Tuesday.
In the Russian legislative system, each bill is subject to three readings as it passes the development from draft to adoption. While the second reading is designed to sum up amendments and proposals to the draft bill, the third reading is associated with final adoption.
The State Duma decided not to introduce criminal offense codes to the bill
According to the draft bill document published on Monday, the proposed legislation does not intend to introduce criminal liability such as fines and prison terms for illegal use of crypto in Russia.
Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the State Duma and a major official behind the legislation, confirmed the news to local news agency RIA Novosti. “This bill will not include liability,” Aksakov said, noting that the committee decided to abandon the idea of introducing the administrative and criminal offense codes to the bill.
According to Aksakov, the DFA bill is likely to pass in July. He expects it to be enforced starting Jan. 1, 2021.
Another crypto bill might impose the liability though
As previously reported, Russian politicians were considering major punishments for illegal usage of cryptocurrencies in May. The officials suggested fines up to nearly $30,000 as well as seven-year jail terms for violations such as illegal turnover and issuance of crypto. According to media reports, the proposals were part of the DFA bill.
However, the DFA will not be the sole part of Russia’s upcoming crypto legislation, as there is also another bill that is called “On Digital Currency,” or DC. Aksakov elaborated that the bill “On Digital Currency” is a separate document that would actually determine crypto regulation, while the DFA bill only provides key industry terms like the notion of a “digital asset.”
According to Aksakov, the State Duma expects to pass the bill “On Digital Currency” during the autumn session, which ends in late December.
The history of crypto legislation development in Russia has seen a number of delays in moving forward since early 2018. First introduced in January 2018, the DFA bill was delayed multiple times despite Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, ordering it to be adopted at least twice. Eventually, Aksakov admitted that the delays were caused by disagreement on the new asset type between a number of local authorities.