Russia has taken different measures in order to control the cryptocurrency market. Now, a group of Russian deputies submitted a draft on cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the State Duma. The information was released on a press release on March the 20th and was presented by Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee of Financial Markets.
Russian Law on Digital Assets
The document was prepared in order to comply with the instructions presented by the recently re-elected Russian president, Vladirmir Putin. Mr Putin has signaled that regulations on cryptocurrencies should be ready on July the 1st.
The new bill on “Digital Financial Assets” defines cryptocurrencies and tokens as digital financial assets (something similar to what the G-20 discussed). They would have to be traded only using authorized cryptocurrency exchanges and with strict Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering procedures for ICOs.
The Russian bill reads:
“A digital wallet is opened by the operator of a digital financial assets exchange only after passing the identification procedures of the owner in accordance with the Federal Law ‘On combating money laundering and terrorism financing.’”
At the same time, the document recognizes digital assets as a property, meaning that they are not a legitimate means of payment in Russia. Moreover, the financial expert, Veselin Petkov, said that the current version of the bill is different from the one proposed by the Finance Ministry in the past. The main difference can be seen in KYC regulations.
The new version imitates what the US has decided to do on cryptocurrency exchanges, meaning that exchanges will also require verification of customers account for Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing.
The legislation has also decided to delete the maximum amount of investment or qualified investors ($900). Now, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR) will decide which is the maximum limit.
On March the 20th, the Financial G-20 meeting ended up with no new regulations for the cryptocurrency market. In a similar way to what Russia is doing, the G-20 considers cryptocurrencies as digital-assets.
Additionally, the finance ministers have proposed to follow the Financial Action Task Force on money Laundering (FATF) standards. According to the official document released by the G-20, the most important countries are waiting for an FATF report on July regarding crypto regulations around the world.
“We commit to implement the FATF standards as they apply to crypto-assets, look forward to the FATF review of those standards, and call on the FATF to advance on global implementation. We call on international standard-setting bodies (SSBs) to continue their monitoring of crypto-assets and their risks, according to the mandates, and assess multilateral responses as needed.”
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