Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev has confirmed that a comprehensive framework for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), which is currently a work-in-progress under the joint supervision of Russia’s Ministry of Finance and Central Bank, will be ready by February next year.
During an interview on the Russia 24 TV channel, Moiseev spoke at length about the bill, confirming its date of completion:
“If I’m not mistaken, the proposals should be formulated by February 1 in the framework of the president’s mandate.”
Earlier this month, President Vladimir Putin issued a series of orders, tasking the government and the Central Bank with drafting a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, mining, and ICOs, which will then be integrated into the Russian Federation’s legislation by July 2018. The bill scheduled to be completed by February is part of this process.
In addition to revealing the completion date, Moiseev also offered details on the contents of the bill, including trading restrictions for crypto, crypto miners’ registration and taxation, and ICO regulation. He also added that there would be no changes required to the Civil Code of the Russian Federation as a result of the adoption of the cryptocurrency bill.
To start, Moiseev confirmed that while it will not be outright legalized, there will not be a direct ban on cryptocurrency trading:
“We simply do not legalize directly this activity.”
In addition, cryptocurrencies’ legal status will be determined as a financial asset, to be listed on Moscow’s stock exchange, and only qualified investors will be allowed to buy or sell cryptocurrencies on licensed sites. Moiseev also mentioned, in regards to Bitcoin trading, that all entities will be registered. Paying for goods and services with crypto, however, will be prohibited in Russia. Details on cryptocurrency taxation will also be a part of the bill.
Speaking on ICO regulation, Moiseev stated that while they wish to permit ICOs, there need to be certain rules and regulations in place for the protection of investors:
“There must be some kind of prospectus and some legally designed obligations. Now it is formalized by smart contracts, which, unfortunately, do not have legal force. And a person who organizes [an] offering and uses smart contracts may not fulfill his obligations and meet no legal punishment. In order to prevent this, we must adopt some kind of regulation. It can be some form of legal recognition of smart contracts or the obligation to duplicate obligations on paper in at least one copy.”
He also added that they might consider imposing limits on the target amount to be raised, or make it mandatory that investors should be allowed to buy out and trade their tokens on the secondary market.
Finally, in regards to crypto mining and taxation, Moiseev clarified that the Ministry of Finance has no intentions, at present, of introducing licensing for crypto mining and getting miners to register themselves. However, as was previously suggested by the Central Bank’s first deputy chairman, Olga Skorobogatova, the activity of mining will most definitely be subject to taxation.