In the present time, Russia has become progressive towards digital assets and has taken various steps reflecting the same, including several amendments.
As per local media, the members of Duma are working towards framing amendments that would cover the launch of a national crypto exchange.
The lawmakers are developing this initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia. Interestingly, both these institutions have a history of disagreement over crypto regulation in the country.
The sources reported discussions in Duma to make amendments to the existing law “On digital financial assets” with market stakeholders. The central bank would be the first to be presented with the legal framework bringing in a national exchange.
Sergey Altuhov, a member of the parliamentary committee of economic policy, also explained the importance of such a step in favor of a nation’s financial well-being. He highlighted the prevalence of cryptocurrency in today’s financial system, and adopting a national exchange would come as a measure of fiscal sensibility as these state-owned exchanges would help in maintaining efficiency and clarity. In the absence of such a system, it is easier for exchanges to tamper with a country’s revenue.
“It makes no sense to deny the existence of cryptocurrencies; the problem is they circulate in a large stream outside of state regulation. These are billions of tax rubles of lost tax revenues to the federal budget. “
However, this is not the first time Russia has mentioned a national exchange. In June, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the Duma’s committee on the Financial Market, suggested a national exchange could be launched as a part of the Moscow Exchange.
Moscow Exchange is the largest exchange in Russia, operating trading markets in equities, bonds, derivatives, the foreign exchange market, money markets, and precious metals. In September, it also drafted a bill on behalf of the central bank to legalize the trading of digital financial assets.
The Central Bank of Russia and the country’s legislators were initially also against the concept of accepting cryptocurrency as payment. However, following the sanctions placed on it due to the war with Ukraine, it acknowledged that cross-border crypto transactions are unavoidable. A significant crypto regulation called “On Digital Financial Assets” was approved by Russia in 2020, outlawing the usage of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as payment methods.
Russia initially was strictly against the adoption and promotion of cryptocurrency, but with the sanctions imposed and the zeal to end the dominance of the American dollar in the global financial sector, it has looked up to crypto. In a recent visit to Cuba, Boris Titov, commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights under the Russian president, elucidated that the cooperation between both nations can turn over the existing mechanism which only accepts dollars for mutual settlement, suggesting Rubles and crypto as an alternative.
Earlier this month, the Russian parliament also discussed a bill proposing the legalization of cryptocurrency mining and the sale of the crypto mined. It called on the legislators to look forward to a national platform for the sale of cryptocurrency; however, it would not limit miners from using foreign platforms. For the miners using foreign platforms, Russian currency controls and regulations would not be implemented for transactions but would be required to report to the country’s tax authorities.
In September this year, Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin directed the government to adopt a regulation for digital currencies by December 19, 2022. He also gave special instructions to the Duma (lower house of the Federal Assembly of Russia) and other state bodies to synchronize well with rules implemented regarding the issuance and use of crypto and digital currencies in the country.