Russia’s upcoming draft law on regulating cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and fundraising through ICOs will be submitted on December 28.
Speaking to reporters today, member of Parliament Anthony Akasov revealed details of the upcoming draft bill on the regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs, currently being worked on by Russia’s central bank and the ministry of finance.
Akasov, who notably serves as the president of the association of regional banks of Russia and chairman for the State Duma (Parliament) Committee on financial markets, hinted the bill would consider all cryptocurrencies as ‘other property’ alongside possible limits stipulated on an individual for ICO investments.
In roughly translated statements taken from Russian state-run news agency RIA, Akasov stated:
“Cryptocurrency, thus far, is defined as other property. Until today, the meeting [among regulators and authorities] remains a small circle. There will be a final evaluation before the presentation of the bill. Whatever names they go by, bitcoin or ether, all cryptocurrencies are [to be seen] as other property.”
Bill Likely to be Passed in March 2018
While the official confirmed the bill will be presented to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, on December 28, he stressed that the adoption of the bill is only to be expected near the end of March 2018.
The banking official stressed that the bill will prioritize the protection of retail investors, including those already ‘deceived’ into adopting cryptocurrencies.
“[T]he problem is that we already have a lot of people who acquired cryptocurrencies and they are deceived. It is necessary to make possible [the laws] to people legally for this to work, to protect them as much as possible.”
Curiously, the head of the financial markets committee at the State Duma also opined that cryptocurrencies should not be subject to value added tax (VAT).
“My opinion is that this property is a financial instrument, a financial asset, accordingly, its circulation should not be taxed on value added.”
Limits for ICO Investors
Casting an eye toward ICO-related financing, Akasov confirmed a specific regulatory approach that will be discussed and re-defined in the coming days.
“The ICO is seen as an element of crowdfunding, and the approach is that investors should be limited in the amount they invest.”
After years of a hardline stance against cryptocurrencies wherein the Russian finance ministry sought to pass bills to ban cryptocurrencies and even imprison bitcoin adopters, the country’s authorities are currently fast-tracking a regulatory framework following a mandate from Russian president Vladimir Putin. The developments come at a time when Putin has also ordered Moscow’s political and influential elite to begin work on the ‘cryptoruble’, Russia’s own national cryptocurrency.