On May 18, the head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov, said that cryptocurrencies would be legalized in Russia in the future, writes RBC Crypto.
“Short question, short answer. I think so. The question is when it will happen, how it will happen, how it will be regulated,” he told reporters (quoted from “RIA News”). As the agency notes, the minister answered the question of whether the cryptocurrency will be used as a means of payment in the future. In the message TASS while it is only about legalization.
According to Manturov, the government and the Central Bank are actively involved in the regulation of cryptocurrencies, “but everyone is inclined to understand that this is a trend of the time and sooner or later, in one format or another, this will be done.”
What is with the regulation of cryptocurrencies now
On January 20, the Bank of Russia proposed to ban the circulation and mining of cryptocurrencies, as well as the organization of these operations in the country. The regulator has repeatedly criticized digital assets and opposed their legalization.
On February 18, the Central Bank prepared a bill to ban cryptocurrency. On the same day, the Ministry of Finance began public discussions on an alternative bill that introduces regulation of operations with digital assets. In March, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin stressed the need to integrate digital currencies into the country’s economy, but noted that such issues should be addressed together with the Central Bank.
In April, the Central Bank emphasized in its annual report that the spread of cryptocurrencies carries significant risks for the economy and financial stability of Russia. The regulator noted that the growing interest of Russian citizens, a significant amount of investments and high risks of operations with cryptocurrencies create potential systemic threats.
At the same time, it is known that the government is not considering the option of banning cryptocurrencies. The bill “On Digital Currency”, submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the government in April, provides for the creation of a comprehensive regulation of the crypto market, including the procedure for performing transactions with digital currencies and their release, as well as determining the specifics of the activities of crypto market entities.
Why cryptocurrency is not legalized as a means of payment
Recognition of cryptocurrency as a means of payment is the very “no go” declared by the Central Bank, on which it stands firmly, recalled Dmitry Machikhin, CEO of Bitnalog. This alternative is considered only in the context of international payments.
“Therefore, the recognition of cryptocurrency as legal property can already be considered resolved, but its recognition as a means of payment is rather not. At least in the short term,” Machikhin is sure.
Andrey Tugarin, managing partner of GMT Legal, agreed with him. In his opinion, the recognition of cryptocurrency as a means of payment at this stage is impossible. The expert pointed to Article 14 of the CFA law, which expressly prohibits the acceptance of digital currency as a way to pay for goods, as well as work/services.
To date, approaches to the legal regulation of cryptocurrencies have been clearly formed through bills that are currently being considered in the State Duma or are being prepared for consideration. None of these bills indicate that the cryptocurrency will be recognized as a means of payment, Tugarin emphasized.
He claims that no efforts are being made to have the cryptocurrency recognized as a means of payment. To implement such a proposal, it will be necessary to fundamentally change existing approaches, bills and laws.
“And this, accordingly, is the observance of all necessary procedures, such as approval at the Government level, readings in the State Duma, the President’s signature, which will most likely take at least two years and again leave cryptocurrencies in an unregulated zone,” the lawyer warned.
Recently, the rhetoric regarding cryptocurrencies has generally changed, says Moscow Digital Scool teacher Georgy Rakhaev. He recalled that at the end of April, the Federal Tax Service had already proposed to allow the use of crypto assets for foreign trade transactions, which implies their recognition as a means of payment (albeit for a limited range of transactions).
Given the volatility of the bitcoin exchange rate and the incompatibility of such a circumstance with ongoing trade relations, the main contenders for the role of a means of payment in such transactions are stablecoins, which have no legal regulation at the moment, Rakhaev noted.
“If regulatory solutions can be developed in a relatively short timeframe, then the development of appropriate technical solutions for their implementation may take significantly longer, which calls into question the date when the authorities will approve the wider use of cryptoassets,” the specialist warned.
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