The Ministry of Economic Development has criticized the bills under consideration in the State Duma concerning the regulation of cryptocurrencies. The agency believes that their adoption will harm the economy.
The Ministry of Economic Development sent a letter to the State Duma, in which it criticized the new version of the bill on digital financial assets, as well as the bill on digital currencies. The Ministry proposed creating mechanisms for the controlled release and turnover of crypto assets, rather than banning them. According to experts, the adoption of the draft laws in this version will provoke the creation of an”uncontrolled black market”.
In May, the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets sent out a bill and amendments to the codes, suggesting the introduction of fines of up to 2 million rubles or imprisonment for up to 7 years for the release and turnover of public crypto assets. A week later, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, denied that the draft law and amendments to the codes sent to the Ministry of Economic Development would prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia.
As noted in the letter of the Ministry of Economy sent to the State Duma, the proposed bills, if adopted, will in fact lead to a complete ban on the issuance and circulation of all cryptocurrencies in the country. In addition, all related activities of legal entities and entrepreneurs will be punishable.
The Ministry also takes into account the cross-border nature of cryptocurrencies and notes that it will not properly protect the rights of Russian users of crypto assets. This may contribute to the withdrawal of all cryptocurrency transactions abroad, which will lead to large losses for the country’s economy.
According to the letter, it is necessary to change the concept of the proposed draft laws and provide for the development of “mechanisms for controlled turnover” of crypto assets. For example, to establish requirements for those who are engaged in the issuance and turnover of cryptocurrencies, the conditions of their work and state control over such operations.
“It’s good that they criticize: we don’t need approval, we need criticism, “Anatoly Aksakov said, adding that the Central Bank of the Russian Federation generally supports the adoption of draft laws” with some changes”, and comments from the Ministry of Finance have not yet been received.
According to Alexander Zhuravlev, chairman of the commission on legal support of the digital economy of the Moscow branch of the Russian Bar Association, Russia should not abandon the opportunities of the cryptocurrency economy, especially in times of crisis.
He noted that even in the case of a ban on the turnover of crypto assets, users will still find ways to circumvent it with the help of technical means, such as a VPN. Thus, the ban will not solve the problem of ensuring the legal security of citizens, but will contribute to the creation of an”uncontrolled black market”.
Dmitry Zakharov, General Director of the Moscow Digital School, also noted that the adoption of the draft laws in the current version will mean missed opportunities for the country, which will lose taxes, the possibility of loading generating capacities with mining equipment, as well as innovators working in this area. In his opinion, Russia has already missed a lot by not providing a comfortable legal environment in time.