Moscow’s monetary authority, the Bank of Russia, wants those who use cryptocurrencies against the law to be held accountable. The financial regulator has proposed the introduction of legal liability for certain transactions with digital assets that it considers illegal.
Central Bank of Russia aims to prevent circulation of decentralized currencies
Cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation, as well as related activities, remain only partially regulated, mainly by the law “On Digital Financial Assets”, which came into force at the beginning of this year. One of the aspects that is still unclear is whether digital coins can be used to pay for goods and services.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has consistently remained opposed to allowing payments with bitcoin and others. The authority claims that these are all “money substitutes” which are prohibited by current Russian law which recognizes the ruble as the only legal tender in the country which covers 11 time zones.
CBR now wants to introduce legal liability for what it sees as “illegal circulation of digital financial assets”. Remarkably, the push is part of its plans to “create an enabling environment for the introduction of new technologies and support for innovation in the financial market” – two of the bank’s key “strategic directions” under the banner of “promote digitization. “
The proposal found its place in the program document of the Bank of Russia entitled “Main directions for the development of financial markets of the Russian Federation” for the period up to 2024. The project was recently approved by its board administration for submission to the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly.
In order to develop innovative financial instruments, according to the CBR, a number of federal laws aimed at comprehensive legal regulation of digital financial assets and utility digital rights need to be passed. Another aspect that needs to be addressed, according to the central bank, is the taxation of transactions involving these rights and assets, for which a procedure should be established.
The Bank of Russia further notes that efforts to launch a digital version of the national currency are ongoing. The introduction of the third form of the ruble, after cash and bank money, requires a series of legislative changes, underlines the monetary authority. Earlier in November, the head of the parliamentary financial markets committee, Anatoly Aksakov, said Duma deputies are preparing to amend 13 Russian laws and codes to accommodate the CBDC.
Meanwhile, members of the chamber have expressed concern that the digital ruble may pose risks to banking and information security. At the same time, Bank of Russia President Elvira Nabiullina recently said the new currency was what the Russians needed, as it would provide them with an alternative to cryptocurrencies and stablecoins while still allowing payments. cheap and reliable.
The CBR started considering a CBDC in 2018 and decided to explore the possibility of issuing one last year. A consultation document was released in October 2020, and in April 2021, the authority released a concept of a digital ruble. In June of this year, the authority formed a pilot group with more than a dozen banks. It plans to complete the platform prototype in December and begin testing in January 2022.
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