New law would ban cryptocurrency payments in Russia (again) as miners struggle to get central bank to legalize the industry

Source: Adobe / leighton Collins

Advocates of cryptocurrencies are still facing a tough fight in Russia, where MPs are expected to vote in favor of a proposal that would ban the use of “money surrogates” as a form of payment. And it looks like cryptocurrency miners have yet to persuade influencers Central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina that their industry should not be banned.

A measure presented by Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma’s Financial Markets Commission, will be debated in parliament in the next few days and should pass unhindered. The invoice effectively seeks to clarify existing legislation from 2020 that prohibits the use of cryptocurrencies in payments and payments.

An explanatory document provided with the new bill reads:

“The ruble is official [currency] of the Russian Federation. [This measure] introduces a ban against the introduction of other currencies [items] or monetary substitutes on Russian territory. […]. The bill introduces changes aimed at eliminating the risks of use indicated [cryptoassets] as a monetary substitute by establishing a direct prohibition on the transfer or acceptance of [cryptoassets] as consideration for goods sold, works performed and / or services rendered “.

Consultation on the bill ends tomorrow and MPs will start discussing the bill early next week.

As usual, however, the bill makes use of vague and confusing terminology, such as the term “digital financial assets” or DFA. Critics say it’s unclear which tokens fall into this category.

Meanwhile, there was another blow to the miners.

The NSN newspaper quoted Denis Bushnov, the vice president of Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchainas stating:

“Nothing will work. [MPs] they have not been able to legalize this [industry] since 2017, which means they will never legalize it. […] It won’t work, because Nabiullina is against it. From a commercial point of view […] it would have been possible to take fees from cryptocurrency mining for a long time. But everything is blocked “.

Nabiullina is one of Russia’s most prominent crypto-skeptics. While a number of the bank’s other senior officials have suggested the bank might compromise on its uncompromising stance, Nabiullina is in favor of a Chinese-style total crackdown on cryptocurrencies and mining – and an accelerated ruble run. digital.

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It is also a key ally of President Vladimir Putin, a factor that appears to have some heads of ministry who are following the issue closely. Putin, however, has hinted that he favors the exploitation of Russian energy reserves and its preponderance of “talents” linked to cryptocurrencies. Ministries, such as the Ministry of Commerce and Energy, urgently want to regulate – and tax – the largest cryptocurrency mining companies in the country.

The president of the same association, Yuri Pripachkin, was quoted as saying that any legislation on cryptocurrency mining had to be “fully developed” and “not delivered in pieces”. He also warned that treating the industry as “some kind of cash cow” for tax revenue would backfire.

Politicians, however, took a much more optimistic line: Anton Gorelkin, deputy chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Information Policy, Information Technology and Communications and a member of the parliamentary working group on cryptocurrencies, said the l ‘adoption of “a digital currency bill” would be “complete” and would make Russia the leading mining nation in the world.

Indeed, parliamentarians appear to be close to reaching a consensus on the issue. The working group, which also met this week, “proposed to classify mining as an entrepreneurial activity with the definition of commercial electricity tariffs”, the media channel of the Duma reported.

The working group will present its recommendations on this front to the government, and the same media channel noted that the bill could still “be presented to the State Duma before the end of the spring session” – which comes to an end at the end of the next month.

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Find out more:
– Russia approaches cryptocurrency regulation as ruling party, energy ministry pushes to legislate
– The Russian central bank is ready to make some concessions on the regulation of cryptocurrencies

– The regulation on Russian cryptocurrencies can no longer be delayed, says the main parliamentarian
– Putin intends to create a new platform for international settlements, reform the rules on foreign currencies

– Bitcoin Mining gathers support in Russia as more details emerge about international crypto payments
– Russia will legalize cryptocurrencies for payments “in one format or another” – Minister

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