Those hoping to see crypto regulations roll out in Russia will need to wait until at least February next year to see what any draft legislation might look like, per a key parliamentarian.
According to DumaTV, as well as the official website of the ruling United Russia Party, the vice-speaker of the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, Alexey Gordeyev, has been appointed as the head of a working group that will prepare proposals “on the legislative regulation of the circulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia.”
The group held its first meeting on December 21, and comprises executives from the Central Bank, as well as figures from “relevant ministries and departments.” Reportedly, domestic crypto industry officials have also been included in the group – although Cryptonews.com has not yet discovered the identity of the companies represented.
Despite the group’s formation, progress appears to be as glacial as ever. Gordeyev said that the “next stage of discussions” will “take place in February 2022” – confirming previous statements from Duma officials on the matter.
Politicians had been hopeful of striking a legislative deal on crypto regulation in the current winter session of the Duma, but have instead decided to kick the can down the road again.
Again, the reason for the delay appears to be clear: Many government ministries favor a more progressive approach to crypto regulation, while the Central Bank favors either a complete ban or an insistence that all crypto investors do their business on platforms based overseas. The latter option, it claims, will help keep crypto out of the Russian financial system.
Opposition leaders have criticized the Central Bank’s stance. In a separate report, DumaTV quoted the leader of the opposition A Just Russia – For Truth party Sergei Mironov, as claiming that the “tough position of the Central Bank” on crypto “does not allow Russia to develop this promising technology.”
Mironov added that excluding crypto makes the nation dependent on “Western payment systems.” Rather than continuing to marginalize crypto, he stated, Russia needed to “legalize” crypto and accelerate plans to roll out a digital ruble.
There are signs that the February meeting might get lost in a semantic-themed sidetrack, however. Gordeyev was quoted as stating:
“We must describe the phenomenon in detail. Because some MPs call [tokens] ‘cryptocurrencies,’ and then make disclaimers like: ‘actually, they are not currencies.’ As there are no clear legal definitions, there’s a paradox. This also [causes] confusion for citizens and legal entities. The first stage is to work on the conceptual apparatus.”
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