On December 18, “United Russia” party submitted a new bill to Duma. According to “RosKomSvoboda”, it contains provisions on the partial legalization of Bitcoin.  The bill could have some influence on the Russian cryptocurrency market, as well as markets of neighbouring CIS countries. Cointelegraph conducted a survey of experts to find out the exact mechanisms of such influence.

Unclear Horizon

According to Ivan Tikhonov, the head of BitsMedia, “it is unclear how it will influence the market in Russia so there could hardly be any assumptions about its influence on CIS countries”. Tikhonov stated to Cointelegraph:

“The statements are blur, there are many conditions that could be interpreted controversially. Besides, there are great doubts that there will be any changes until the bill is actually adopted by Duma”.

Ivan Tikhonov, the head of BitsMedia

An Optimistic Note

Head of the project "RosKomSvoboda", Artem Kozlyuk states, that “the bill can be changed a lot before it is actually read at Duma. Some provisions could be changed or removed from the final version at all”.

“There are many interesants which are quite regressive towards Bitcoin. For example, the Ministry of Finances, Security Services, State Drug Control Agency and, partially, the Central Bank. The latter has even created the research group to study Bitcoin and Blockchain technology”.

Nevertheless, Artem stays optimistic to some provisions of the new bill. He adds that, “the new bill is better than the former Bitcoin legislation anyway, especially if we talk about the part that concerns administrative punishment”.

Technically, the new bill allows the spreading of information about the emission of cash equivalents. It also allows the creation of software for the emission of cash equivalents under the condition that it’s done by specialized issuers or at specialized events. Besides, the annotation to Article 30.39, “Turnover of Cash Equivalents”, states that the usage of assets defined as cash equivalent would not be considered a violation if a person identifies oneself by submitting personal data.

More Confusion?

Aleksey Bragin, co-founder of ICBIT.se, on the contrary, stated that “it could make things even more confused, especially if we talk about the administrative punishment”.

“Regulators have created a new “reason” to prosecute people without having created any clear classification of cash equivalents. That’s why I think it’s too early to talk about the legalization of Bitcoin. It will take at least a year to understand that crypto market is actually useful and it’s way better to legalize it than to ban”.

“We don’t care!”

Other CIS countries representatives seem to be indifferent to the new bill, being certain that it would have little to no influence on their markets at all. Michael Chobanian, the founder of Bitcoin Foundation Ukraine and Kuna, stated that they “don’t care about the new bill at all”.

“We were developing earlier and we will be developing further no matter what happens in Russia. Considering the current situation Ukraine has very little relation to Russia so it doesn’t matter to us whether they ban or legalize cryptocurrency”.


Russia stays quite unclear in its attitude toward Bitcoin. Duma tried to ban cryptocurrency. Government agencies even blocked some Bitcoin information web sites. Perhaps, that’s why opinions about possible legalization are so uncertain and sceptical.

Meanwhile, other CIS countries continue to develop the industry quite smoothly. For example, Ukraine has the biggest Bitcoin community in Eastern Europe, occupying leading positions in researching Bitcoin and Blockchain technologies. Kyrgyzian companies start paying salaries in Bitcoin and there is a Bitcoin Foundation in Turkmenistan. So, as we can see, the industry never stops developing in CIS space.

What do you think? Will new Russian legislation actually influence other CIS countries crypto markets?