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Russia’s finance ministry is working on a draft bill to legalize cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, which is expected by the end of the year. The Finance Minister proposes treating cryptocurrencies like federal loan bonds, available to individuals. Meanwhile, the central bank is still working on its proposal for cryptocurrency regulation.
Ministry of Finance’s Draft Law
The Russian Finance Ministry is drafting a bill to regulate the circulation of cryptocurrencies, said the Finance Minister Anton Siluanov in an interview aired on “Russia 1” TV channel on Saturday. The Russian state-owned news agency Tass quoted him saying:
All countries are working to legislatively regulate the use of this financial instrument, and the financial instrument is very volatile, that is, today it has one price, tomorrow another. In order for us not to have so-called deceived investors, regulation is necessary. The Ministry of Finance will prepare such a draft law by the end of the year.
In the interview, he reiterated what he said on Friday at the Moscow Financial Forum’s press conference.
“There is no point in prohibiting them [crytocurrencies], it is necessary to regulate them,” he said, adding that the draft law “will regulate the procedure for acquiring, circulating, and registering participants who are going to invest and buy this instrument,” RBC detailed.
Availability to Individuals
Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev recently proposed for cryptocurrencies including bitcoin to be listed on stock exchanges, such as Moscow Exchange, but should be only available to qualified investors. However, Siluanov said at the forum on Friday, as reported by RBC, that:
We believe it is possible for individuals to participate in the purchase of these instruments, but these purchases should be clearly regulated, identified, and settlements in these cryptocurrencies must be controlled by the relevant authorities.
He then suggested that the process of buying cryptocurrency for individuals should be organized in the same way as buying federal loan bonds (OFZ). The finance ministry started selling these ruble-denominated OFZs to households in April. Russians can buy these bonds at approximately 1,400 branches of Sberbank and VTB bank, according to CNBC.
Central Bank Drafting Proposal
Meanwhile, the central bank is drafting a proposal on the regulatory framework for digital currencies.
Early this month, the bank issued a statement warning about digital currencies as well as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The bank stated that it is premature to admit cryptocurrencies and any other related financial instruments to the circulation and use at organized trades in Russia.
The Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, told Tass that the draft law on cryptocurrencies will be prepared this fall, adding that:
The Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance are developing proposals on their legalization in the Russian Federation.
When do you think Russia will officially legalize bitcoin? What do you think of the Ministry of Finance’s proposal? Let us know in the comments section below.
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