Finance News

Russia may introduce register of cryptocurrency investors

The idea may be included in the revised version of the “Digital Financial Assets” bill in time for its second reading.

Russia, which is currently working on the legislation of cryptocurrencies, tokens and blockchain, may get a register of cryptocurrency investors. Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, told RIA Novosti that the idea may be included in the revised version of the “Digital Financial Assets” bill in time for its second reading.

Mr Aksakov noted that the idea for such a register was floated by the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB). The rationale behind such a list is to respond to concerns about fraudulent participants in the cryptocurrency market. The register is set to reduce the likelihood of money laundering.

The “Digital Financial Assets” bill submitted by the Finance Ministry in March this year, has faced a set of objections from the government.

The first remark concerns the so-called smart contracts. According to the government, the bill fails to stipulate how the relations arising from the execution of smart contract obligations will be regulated. Also, regarding the “cryptocurrency” definition, the government is displeased that there is no explanation of the difference (if any) between a cryptocurrency and a token. In addition, the government notes the lack of any proposed regulation of the relations arising from cryptocurrency turnover.

Another remark the government makes is related to the restrictions that Russian residents might face, as the bill, in its current version, prevents them from investing in digital financial assets abroad. There are also obstacles for foreign investors who would like to invest in digital financial assets in Russia.

The government also noted that there are also gaps in the bill with regard to any enforcement action against cryptocurrency criminals due to the lack of a specified mechanism for identifying the owners of the digital financial assets and the individuals responsible for the functioning of the the digital financial asset systems.

The bill was published in response to orders issued by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in October last year. Back then, he gave the Central Bank of Russia and the Russian government until July 1, 2018, to change Russian legislation so that it determines the status of DLT, cryptocurrencies, smart-contracts and tokens.

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