Russia’s members of parliament Oleg Nikolaev, Anatoly Aksakov, and Igor Divinski, as well as senator Nikolai Zhuravlev have presented a new bill on digital financial assets that defines cryptocurrencies as well as tokens as property while banning their use as means of payment.
The new bill defines “digital financial assets”, including cryptocurrencies and tokens, and legally establishes a new kind of contract concluded electronically, e.g smart contract enforced with digital fintech.
It also defines important differences between cryptocurrencies & tokens.
Mainly, that the latter has to have a single issuer while the former may have a variety of issuers or miners. They also differ in the intent and purpose of their issuance.
The bill also explicitly lays out that digital financial assets can’t be construed as legal tender within the borders of Russia, however are recognized as property.
The paper defines digital records & digital transactions, creates legal ground for new kinds of operations like crypto-mining, and the validation of digital records in a distributed ledger.
This new bill allows for the exchange of tokens for rubles and/or foreign currencies only via digital asset exchange operators, which can be only legal entities engaged in trust management, brokers, dealers, as well as exchange platforms.
The list of additional legal exchange operations for digital assets will be created by the Bank of Russia in cooperation with the government.
An article of the bill also establishes a regulatory framework for ICOs: a token may have only one issuer, while the maximum amount an unqualified investor can spend on tokens over a single generation event is to be established by the Bank of Russia.
The bill’s authors state that its purpose is to provide legally enforceable definitions of “the most widespread financial assets created and issued with the help of digital financial technologies”, and to create legal conditions and framework for fundraising by Russian legal entities and individual entrepreneurs with said tokens.
Earlier in 2018, Russia’s ministry of finance published a bill on digital assets regulation, which, among other things, specifically defines cryptocurrencies, tokens, crypto-mining, and ICO’s.