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Russian Parliament to Review Bill That Prohibites Crypto Payments

Recently, a bill was initiated in Russia imposing a ban on digital financial assets. That bill permeates to digital assets like cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens, or any utilitarian digital assets to be used as a means of payment in Russia. Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the Financial Market Committee, submitted the document to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, as reported by Forklog, the crypto news outlet. 

The parliament has not completely approved the bill. The legislature’s information portal shows that the lower house members will vote on the legislation on the first reading in mid-June. Suppose the bill is approved by a majority, i.e., two-thirds of the members. In that case, the law will explicitly prohibit crypto payments and other forms of digital assets as a means of payment within the Russian Federation. 

The bill’s authors stress that only the Russian ruble should be the only legal tender within the country. In explanation, the authors state that banning cryptocurrencies will thus eliminate the overall risk of employing digital assets as ‘money surrogates.’

The bills’ authors have plans to oblige all the issuers of tokens and coins as well as the cryptocurrency exchange and investment platforms to stop transactions pertaining to the cryptocurrencies. 

According to the legislation, such entities are considered to be subjects of Russia’s national payment system. Therefore, all such entities will legally be required to register with the Central Bank of Russia. However, the Central Bank has strongly opposed the legalization of all the crypto-related operations, particularly crypto-payments. The monetary authority considers cryptocurrencies a huge risk to the country’s financial stability. 

Nevertheless, the Central Bank has softened its stance regarding cryptocurrency recently. The monetary authority believes cryptocurrencies would be a viable solution for international settlements since the Western world has imposed sanctions on Russia. 

Russian authorities are working tirelessly to adopt comprehensive rules for the crypto space within the country. Currently, the crypto sector is partially regulated by the law “On Digital Financial Assets.” The law was approved in 2020 and was implemented in January last year. 

However, the law’s adoption is being delayed due to ongoing debates.