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Russian Lobbying Group Drafts Alternative Crypto Regulations




A group of industrialists hopes to improve on the proposed laws the national legislature is currently considering.

The Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) is reportedly working on a draft bill regarding the use of cryptocurrency, according to a September 14 article on the Russian tech site ForkLog.

According to the article, the draft is being created as an alternative to the cryptocurrency draft laws currently being considered by the Duma, which have been criticized as being poorly coordinated. 

The working group creating this new draft includes billionaire Vladimir Potanin, owner of the nickel and palladium mining and smelting company Nornickel, and Viktor Vekselberg, head of the Russian innovation fund Skolkovo (both of whom are among 10 richest people in Russia).

Elina Sidorenko, Director of the Center for Digital Economy and Financial Innovation, who is also serving on the working group, stated that the revised regulations will divide cryptocurrency into three different categories: security tokens, cryptocurrencies, and digital signs.

Under the new bill, cryptocurrency will have a "special status" and will be regulated under rules set by Russia's Central Bank (CBR). Security tokens will apparently be regulated under Russians securities laws, and issuers of "digital signs" will not be required to obtain a special license from the CBR. However, Sidorenko did not give a definition as to what constitutes a "digital sign," other than to say, "these tokens must be evidence of the civil-law contract concluded between the parties."

Russian regulators have had a difficult time defining how cryptocurrency is to be regulated in their country. In November of 2017, ETHNews reported that a representative for the Kremlin had presented drafts to the Bank of Russia and the finance ministry outlining a regulation that would tax crypto miners. In January of this year, it was reported that Vladimir Putin stated the Russian government needed to develop more extensive cryptocurrency regulations. And, in May, Russia's justice minister declared that cryptocurrency should be defined as "other property."

The revised bill is expected to go before Russian officials in October.

Nathan Graham

Nathan Graham lives in Sparks, Nevada, with his wife, Beth, and dog, Kyia. Nathan has a passion for new technology, grant writing, and short stories. He spends his time rafting the American River, playing video games, and writing.

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