Russian Central Bank Begins Proposals for New Bitcoin Legislation

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Russia’s central bank has announced they are working on preparations which could pave the way for new legislation governing bitcoin.

Reports from the Bank of Russia have suggested that the organization is laying the groundwork for a new law, which would seek to introduce a formal legal classification for cryptocurrencies, along with greater mechanisms for taxation and regulatory oversight.

While the law remains in the developmental stage, it could become one of the first serious attempts to regulate bitcoin and other alternative currencies anywhere in the world.

It is thought that the proposed bill would treat cryptocurrencies as ‘digital goods’, giving rise to provisions for how they might be taxed in future.

The news came as part of a hearing in Russia’s parliament, the Duma, where the bank’s deputy governor Olga Skorobogatova said that there was an imminent need for fresh proposals to clarify the legal regime in Russia.

“[Bitcoin] should be regulated, because volumes are increasing compared to the previous year. If people are engaged in this, they have to pay money for it, and we have to have a clear understanding of how to control this activity.”

The news comes as the latest confirmation of Russia’s move to embrace blockchain regulation, following a series of pronouncements on the topic over the last couple of years.

Initially sceptical about the technology, the Russian government appeared to indicate a softening approach, with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev calling for more researching into the tech over the last few months.

Now with the bank preparing to crystallize these proposals, there are suggestions that this could ultimately lead to a new regulatory structure for blockchain and altcoins in Russia in the near future.

The developments follow on from initial suggestions for regulation, which even included prison sentences for certain activities around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

While the news will be welcomed as a sign of the growing acceptance of cryptocurrencies in Russia, it remains to be seen whether the proposals will be conducive to blockchain research and development.

With the risk of overregulation stifling development, the situation is likely to be closely monitored by developers and legislators across the world.

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