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Dan Taylor

Russia’s crypto bill to become law ‘within two weeks’: official

Russia’s long awaited cryptocurrency bill will finally become law when it is adopted by lawmakers over the next two weeks, TASS reported quoting a statement from a senior politician.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev briefed that the State Duma was preparing to adopt the legislation in the coming days, which will significantly shape policy around cryptocurrency in Russia.

The Digital Financial Assets (DFA) bill is being readied for its second reading this week, at which point, the minister reports, it will be adopted into law. Moiseev added that separate legislative measures would be adopted for initial coin offerings, which will be handled as an amendment to existing laws governing crowdfunding, as a second strand to regulation for the sector.

This will effectively mean Russian authorities relying on two separate statutes governing cryptocurrency regulation. Nevertheless, the position will provide legal certainty for those operating within Russia’s emerging cryptocurrency sector.

If the bill is passed according to the schedule outlined by Moiseev, it will meet with the deadline of July 1 set out by President Vladimir Putin for legislation governing the cryptocurrency industry to be in force.

Russian lawmakers have reportedly had some difficulty in framing their legislation, amid several calls for delays and extended consultation periods.

The bill was originally passed by the Russian parliament in May 2018, but fell at the first hurdle over concerns around the wording of the bill.

Most recently, the law was pushed back after the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering identified the lack of key terminology from the bill, including a definition for “cryptocurrency.”

It comes against a backdrop of similar issues worldwide, with lawmakers wrestling with similar issues in their own jurisdictions. The problem is notable in the United States, where the lack of regulatory certainty around the cryptocurrency sector is frequently cited by startups as a disadvantage to the industry.

The introduction of these new measures in Russia, if accepted by the State Duma, will be closely watched by regulators elsewhere, at a time of growing demand for more effective regulation for the cryptocurrency industry.

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