New Law Would Ban Crypto Pay in Russia (Again) as Miners Struggle to Convince Central Bank to Legalize Industry

Source: Adobe/leighton collins


Crypto advocates are still facing an uphill struggle in Russia – where MPs are expected to vote in favor of a proposal that would ban the use of “monetary surrogates” as a form of payment. And it appears that crypto miners are yet to persuade the influential Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina that their industry should not be banned.

A measure tabled by Anatoly Aksakov, the State Duma’s Chairman of the Financial Markets Committee, will be debated in parliament in the coming days – and is expected to pass unhindered. The bill effectively seeks to clarify existing legislation from 2020 that forbids the use of crypto in payments and settlements.

An explanatory document provided with the new draft law reads:

“The ruble is the official [currency] of the Russian Federation. [This measure] introduces a prohibition against the introduction of other monetary [items] or monetary surrogates on Russian territory. […]. The draft law introduces changes aimed at eliminating the indicated risks of using [cryptoassets] as a monetary surrogate by establishing a direct ban on the transfer or acceptance of [cryptoassets] as a counter provision for goods transferred, work performed and/or services rendered.”

Consultation on the bill ends tomorrow and MPs will begin debating the bill early next week.

As usual, though, the bill makes use of vague and confusing terminology throughout – such as the expression “digital financial assets” or DFAs. Critics say that it is unclear which tokens fall into this category.

Meanwhile, there was a further blow for miners.

The media outlet NSN quoted Denis Bushnov, the Vice President of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, as stating:

“Nothing will work. [MPs] have not been able to legalize this [industry] since 2017, which means they will never legalize it. […] It will not work, because Nabiullina is against it….


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