Russian Parliament to Add Cryptocurrencies to Legal Framework

A committee in the State Duma, Russia’s lower house of Parliament, is expected to approve an initiative on Wednesday to legally regulate basic digital economy norms, Izvestya reports.

The bill’s authors believe that will help regulate and develop the new field of economic relations, an online sphere, where tokens and cryptocurrencies are used, the newspaper wrote. Digital currency will not become a legal tender so far, but experts consider cryptocurrencies to be promising saying that they should be made part of the legal framework.

The bill’s purpose is to set the legal groundwork for regulating cryptocurrencies’ turnover and conducting transactions with them, said the Committee’s head Pavel Krasheninnikov.

“We are removing the existing risks of using digital assets in an uncontrolled digital environment, for example, to whitewash criminal proceeds or finance terrorism,” the lawmaker emphasized.

Although the bill does not tackle all the problems outlined by the Russian president, who earlier said it was necessary to determine the status of cryptocurrencies, it does create basic conditions for further regulating this sphere, said Igor Sudets, Director of the Blockchain for Lawyers educational program at Plekhanov Russian Economic University.

“It is important to make sure that cryptocurrencies and tokens are made part of the legal framework. On the one hand, these are the opportunities, which we have no right to pass up. On the other, while they are outside the legal framework, they can be used to give bribes, pay cash-in-hand wages or just steal them,” he stressed.

If cryptocurrencies are not legalized in one way or another, Russia will miss the opportunity to bring some substantial financial flows out of the shadow economy, the expert added.