Russian investors may soon have to take an online exam to certify their grasp of digital assets before being allowed to invest. A new draft bill introduced by the Ministry of Finance seeks to protect investors by ensuring they understand the risks they are exposed to while also licensing exchanges and making Bitcoin a legal asset.
In the past few months, the Russian digital currency space has been in its most uncertain state, with two of the country’s top financial regulators clashing over which direction the country should stick to. The Ministry of Finance has advocated for proper regulations and taxes, with the Bank of Russia is pushing for an outright ban.
The ministry’s push has now seen it submit a draft bill to parliament that seeks to regulate the space. Among its most unique proposals is an online exam for investors to determine how well they understand digital currencies. This, according to the Ministry, will establish whether an investor is well-versed with the risks that come with investing in digital assets.
Those who pass the online exam will be allowed to invest up to 600,000 rubles ($7,533) annually, while those who fail will only be able to invest a maximum of 50,000 rubles ($630). Qualified investors, who in Russia must hold at least $75,000 in assets and an economics degree, will not have any caps on investment.
Aside from the online exam, the new bill proposes licensing virtual asset service providers after meeting certain requirements. These VASPs must be locally registered, and in the case of global firms, they must register a local entity before serving Russians.
Most significantly, the bill will legally recognize Bitcoin as an investment tool, although it explicitly states that it will not have legal tender status.
The bill comes amid a push by the Bank of Russia to have digital currencies banned in the country. As per local reports, the bank has already officially opposed the ministry’s regulatory proposals and is even working on its own draft bill to ban digital assets.
As Russia marches towards legitimizing digital assets, its neighboring country Ukraine has already made this leap. As CoinGeek reported, the country’s parliament passed a bill that gave Bitcoin legal status and pruned the number of regulators overseeing the industry.
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