Crypto Regulation Bill to be discussed By Russian parliament – set to define cryptocurrencies as “property”

Russia’s lower house of parliament, State Duma, is looking to adopt a long-awaited piece of legislation concerning digital financial assets by March, according to TASS, and that it will define cryptocurrencies as property.

State Duma Committee Financial Market head Anatoly Aksakov announced the news at a recent press conference. He explained that legislators agreed the bill on digital financial assets should be adopted in conjunction with a law concerning the regulation of crowdfunding and investment platforms, along with other changes to the Civil Code.

Aksakov explained that the legislation “should pass” when they reach the agenda, and that planned pilot projects including a number of credit institutions are dependent on the legislation.

The State Duma first adopted an initial reading of the bill on digital financial assets in May 2018. Some edits of the draft legislation attracted a lot of criticism from the cryptocurrency industry. In October, Interfax reported a second reading of the draft law cut out the definition of ‘mining’ and another draft drew the ire of Russia’s Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, led by Interros owner Vladimir Potanin. Potanin is currently working on a couple of crypto-related projects, including a stablecoin.

TASS reports that the bill will define cryptocurrencies and tokens as property. It said the two are different based on the characteristics of the issuer and the purpose of the issue.

Earlier in January, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin said the “block of bills on the digital economy” should be a priority for working legislators, noting that development of the cryptocurrency world would foster economic transition.