Russian Lawmakers to Introduce Legislation on Cryptocurrency Trading this Year
Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatololy Aksakov, has revealed that the lawmakers are looking to pass the bill on crypto regulation in the State Duma’s autumn session.
According to local news outlet Izvestiya, all cryptocurrency transactions including mining in Russia will be regulated under the Internal Revenue Code. Aksakov noted that separate tax regimes for owners of digital currency will not be introduced in the regulation text, but may appear in the future if the government finds it necessary.
“If they want to determine tax rates for these types of businesses separately, they will. We are not addressing tax issues in any way so far,” he said.
In May this year, the Russian State Duma approved three pieces of legislation tailored to regulate different aspects of the crypto ecosphere in the country. The bill, “On digital financial assets”, “On attracting investments using investment platforms” and “digital rights” were all voted almost unanimously.
Under the proposed law, cryptocurrency miners and traders will have to pay personal income tax, while legal entities will have to pay taxes in accordance with their type of business.
In October of last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a July 2018 deadline for the preparation of cryptocurrency and ICO legislation. The government said it is more concerned about the potential of cryptocurrencies to be used by criminals to launder money.
Earlier this year, the Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work announced that it would support the first reading of an initiative for establishing norms for the digital economy in the Russian Federation Civil Code with the aim to “minimize the existing risks of using digital objects for transferring assets into an unregulated digital environment for legalization of criminal incomes, bankruptcy fraud or for sponsoring terrorist groups.”
In a bid to minimize the risk of fraud, the self-regulatory body of Russian-based cryptocurrency and blockchain companies has created a registry of whitelisted companies which their main field of work is connected with crypto-related products or services.
Despite the regulatory uncertainties in Russia, cryptocurrency adoption has been on the rise this year. In April, the third-largest banking institution in Russia, Gazprombank, announced its plans to conduct crypto deals in Switzerland through its Swiss subsidiary by the year-end. Such a decision, taken under the framework of a part of the pilot program, is due to huge demand from several of the bank’s major private clients.
Most recently, the two biggest banks in Russia, Sberbank, and Alfa-Bank, said they are planning to test cryptocurrency investment portfolios for private customers under the supervision of the Russian Central Bank. According to the report, the portfolio will comprise the six most reliable cryptocurrencies and will use algorithms to make investment decisions.