In 2017, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin instructed the government to prepare a legal structure for the trading of cryptocurrencies, ICOs and mining. The deadline for the proposal was this year in July, but Russia has decided to speed up the process. The Russian Ministry of Finance has not only drafted a bill for cryptocurrency regulation, but also drafted one for legalizing its trading on a few exchange platforms.
Alexei Moisee, Russian Deputy Finance Minister, said, “This is about the fact that buying and selling [of cryptocurrencies] will be somehow standardized. The general idea is that it will be necessary to buy and sell on official exchanges, as it will be declared; it will be legalized.”
The Ministry of Finance haven’t provided much information on the bill, but did explain that it is still under the process of choosing various exchanges. Moiseev explained that regardless of the current situation, the process of legalizing virtual currencies is “more or less clear”.
Russia had an inconsistent relationship with cryptocurrencies last year. In February 2017, a Bitcoin ATM was installed in a Russian shopping center. Two months later, Moiseev claimed that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies would be ‘recognized’ in 2018. However, he also said that in order to combat money laundering, Bitcoin would need to be monitored and used as a tool. At one point, the central bank of Russia planned to deploy its own virtual currency, and Putin went from approving cryptocurrencies to calling Bitcoin risky.
Finally, last year in December, a bill was drafted to regulate cryptocurrencies. Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said, “The Ministry of Finance has prepared a draft law, currently under consideration, which will determine the procedure for the issuing, taxing, buying and circulation of cryptocurrencies.”
It looks like Russia has finally settled on a decision regarding cryptocurrencies; to regulate the entire process. Putin, who spoke to print media recently, was quoted saying, “If we regulate, but not efficiently enough, then the government will be responsible for the difficult situations that people can get into.”
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