The state Duma is discussing possible amendments to the draft law “On digital financial assets”, according to which foreign digital financial assets (CFA) will be admitted to cryptocurrency exchanges registered in Russia.
CFA refers to analogs of debt receipts, bonds, and equity rights. In other words, we are talking about tokens, although the term “token” is not in the bill. Previously, this category also included rights on the blockchain, including property rights, but later they decided to change the definition.
Now the operator of the CFA exchange (cryptocurrency exchange) can be not only a Bank or a trading organizer, but any legal entity that has a certain minimum authorized capital and net assets of 50 million rubles or more, and also complies with all the rules established by law. According to the current version of the document, operators will be able to conduct transactions for the purchase and sale of digital assets, including transactions with digital financial assets that are issued in information systems based on a distributed registry. Capital requirements are related to the fact that in the event of unforeseen situations related to the loss of funds, the exchange can compensate for the damage from its reserves.
It is interesting that the current version adds foreign CFAS that were not present in previous versions of the document. This may contribute to the inflow of foreign investment in Russia.
“A Russian startup has the right to place its token on a cryptocurrency exchange, and a foreign investor can buy it in exchange for digital rights,” said Sergey Izrailit, head of the development Department of the SKOLKOVO Foundation.
At the same time, the legislators decided to introduce the concept of “digital currency”, that is, “a set of electronic data that is used in information systems and offered as a means of payment”, but is not an official currency in the Russian Federation or abroad. Their creation or use in official CFA systems is prohibited.
Mikhail Uspensky, partner of the Taxology law firm, draws attention to the fact that bitcoin may fall under this interpretation. However, according to him, the ban applies only to the turnover of digital currencies on platforms that will be used for issuing Russian CFAS.
“The bill does not say anything about a total ban. Let’s hope that this is a conscious choice of officials,” he commented.
However, Nikita Kulikov, a member of the state Duma’s expert Council, still warns that the current version of the bill may be inaccurate, and lawmakers mean just a complete ban on the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia outside of platforms that have been officially registered with the Central Bank.
Head of the state Duma Committee on the financial market Anatoly Aksakov noted that the current version of the bill is being approved. It is planned to be adopted by the end of this year.