Russia drafts a bill to legalize cryptocurrencies

The Russian Finance Ministry is drafting a bill in order to legalize cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and is expected by the end of 2017.  In an interview aired on “Russia 1” TV channel on Saturday, the Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated the necessity of regulating and not prohibiting cryptocurrencies, and emphasized the fact that the draft law will act as a regulatory measure. In addition, the Finance Minister proposed treating cryptocurrencies like federal loan bonds, available to individuals.

In the mean time, the Central Bank is drafting a proposal pertaining to the regulatory framework for digital currencies. As a matter of fact, early this month, the bank issued a statement warning about digital currencies as well as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and stated that it is premature to admit cryptocurrencies and any other related financial instruments to the circulation and use at organized trades in Russia.

Anatoly Aksakov, the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, told the Russian News agency Tass that the draft law on cryptocurrencies will be prepared this fall, and that “the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance are developing proposals on their legalization in the Russian Federation”.