A new Russian law could require potential crypto investors to take a test before being allowed to buy digital assets above a certain limit. The authors also hope to regulate cryptocurrency mining and cut off access to cheap energy for those who mint coins in their homes.
Bill to Introduce “Tough Regulation” to Crypto Industry, Strict Requirements for Investors
Russian lawmakers are working on a law to close regulatory loopholes in the crypto space. The legislation may introduce special checks for non-qualified investors who want to buy cryptocurrencies with a total annual value of more than 600,000 rubles ($7,700). One of his supporters, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on security and anti-corruption, Andrey Lugovoy, told the daily Izvestia that the new law is about “strict regulation” of the sector.
The bill is expected to make its way into the State Duma during the spring session of the lower house of parliament, the deputy noted. Before that, it is discussed with relevant ministries, law enforcement agencies and market participants. All changes will be approved by a working group composed of members of the Duma and representatives of government institutions, including the Central Bank of Russia.
The Monetary Authority has clashed with other regulators over its tough stance on cryptocurrencies. In a recent consultation paper, the Bank of Russia proposed a sweeping ban on crypto-related activities such as issuance, trading, and mining, which was not supported by the executive and legislature in Moscow.
New Law Regulating Crypto Mining and Exchange
Andrey Lugovoy also announced that the forthcoming law will seek to regulate cryptocurrency mining, which is expanding in Russia, especially after the crackdown on the industry in China. In addition to businesses, ordinary people in energy-rich regions have also found an additional source of income by using subsidized electricity with crypto farms operated in basements and garages.
Electricity tariffs for these miners should be the same as corporations, lawmakers told the publication, insisting “garage mining” using cheap household electricity should be stopped. In late December, the federal government took a step in this direction by allowing regional authorities to increase residential electricity tariffs if consumption exceeds a certain threshold.
The authors of the draft law plan to clearly define which companies are allowed to work with cryptocurrencies. This includes authorized banks, provided they receive a special license, crypto exchanges and other digital money exchanges. Foreign-based crypto trading platforms that want to operate in the Russian Federation are subject to a “special” registration system, Lugovoy noted, without elaborating.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchen’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, not what I do.” Along with crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and business are two other sources of inspiration.
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