As reported by a local Russian news outlet, TASS, the State Duma, one of the nation’s regulatory entities, are preparing to draft a “long-awaited” bill on crypto regulation in the coming weeks.
Stacking Those Bills
The chairman of the State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, explained that the crypto-centric legislation will be linked to digital asset-related crowdfunding and investment platforms.
According to Aksakov, the law on digital financial assets, which is currently awaiting approval from the State Political Directorate, will be:
“in conjunction with two others: the law on the regulation of investment platforms or crowdfunding and changes to the Civil Code. We agreed that the law on digital financial assets should be adopted along with these two legislative acts.”
The regulatory incumbent went on to note that the crypto-related bills will most likely be passed during February of this year, mere weeks ago.
In a recent press release, chairman of the entire State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, made an appeal to his colleagues, calling for them to form specialist groups to focus on the development of crypto & blockchain legislation. Volodin purportedly to said that the Kremlin is seeking to introduce over 20 new digital economy-related bills, which would span an array of sectors. The chairman stated:
“We need to be prepared for a qualitative review of these legislative initiatives.”
The Russian government has received heavy criticism over the last 12 months for its a finalized bill centered around digital assets. The bill failed to outline primary concepts regarding crypto, namely the act of mining. This controversy led the bill to be reverted back the “first-reading stage,” allowing it to be reassessed by the powers that be.
An alternative to the state’s draft bill on crypto was proposed by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) in September last year. The group went on to forward said proposals to Russia’s prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, in November.
Prepping For Crypto
As reported recently by Live Coin Watch, Russian economists are anticipating the Kremlin to invest billions into cryptocurrencies. Vladislav Ginko, a professor at Moscow’s Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, foresees the Russian government adopting Bitcoin as a Medium of Exchange, enabling them to bypass the ever-growing list of stringent sanctions placed on it by the United States.
Ginko recently tweeted stating he expects Russia’s central bank to liquidate at least $10 billion of its reserves into Bitcoin:
Trace, I'm sitting here in Moscow, Russia and I see that there is a enormous work is underway to start investing huge amounts of central bank's reserves into Bitcoin, at least $10 billion. Russia has to do it to save economy from collapsing after looming new US sanctions.
— Vladislav Ginko (@martik) January 8, 2019
The economist also recently tweeted suggesting The Kremlin is losing faith in gold as a store of value:
“As an analyst of Russian think-tank I may say that Russian government doesn’t consider gold as an appropriate hedge anymore.”
If this is true, Russia may be citing Bitcoin, frequently dubbed ‘gold 2.0’, as an appropriate alternative to the precious metal.
I personally believe the Euro-Asia powerhouse are assuming a financial revolution will soon be on-the-cards. The country’s interest in making huge investments into the nascent financial technology is rooted in wanting to become the dominant global economy. If the state achieves their vision, unrestrained global trade would become a reality for the country, alleviating them of the currently placed sanctions.
Adoption of crypto is showing to be on the rise in the world’s largest country. A recent poll found that 13% of the 924 participants use Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for online payments.
However, some are overtly skeptical of the Kremlin’s supposed plans, citing logical concerns like liquidity for a $10 billion buy order, regulatory qualms, among other pertinent concerns.
Title Image Courtesy of Jelle van Leest on Unsplash