The State Duma is discussing possible amendments to the bill on digital financial assets, according to which foreign digital financial assets (CFA) will be admitted to cryptocurrency exchanges registered in Russia.
By CFA they mean analogues of debt receipts, bonds and equity rights. In other words, we are talking about tokens, although the term “token” is not in the bill. Earlier, rights to the blockchain, including property rights, also belonged to this category, but later they decided to change the definition.
Now, the CFA exchange operator (cryptocurrency exchange) can be not only a bank or an organizer of trading, but any legal entity that has a certain minimum authorized capital and net assets worth 50 million rubles or more, and also complies with all the rules established by law. According to the current version of the document, operators will be able to conduct transactions of purchase and sale of digital assets, including transactions with digital financial assets that are issued in information systems based on a distributed registry. Capital requirements are related to the fact that in the event of unforeseen situations associated with the loss of funds, the exchange could compensate for the damage from its reserves.
It is interesting that in the current version foreign DFAs were added, which were not in the previous versions of the document. This may contribute to the influx of foreign investment in Russia.
“A Russian startup has the right to place its token on a cryptocurrency exchange, and a foreign investor can buy it in exchange for digital rights,” said Sergei Izrailit, head of the development department of the Skolkovo Fund.
Along with this, lawmakers decided to introduce the concept of “digital currency”, that is, “the totality of electronic data that is used in information systems and is offered as a means of payment”, but is not an official currency in the Russian Federation or abroad. Their creation or use in official CFA systems is prohibited.
Mikhail Uspensky, a partner in Taxology Law Firm, draws attention to the fact that Bitcoin may fall under this interpretation. However, according to him, the ban applies only to the circulation of digital currencies on platforms that will be used for the issue of Russian CFA.
“The bill does not say anything about a total ban. Let’s hope this is a deliberate choice of officials, ”he commented.
However, Nikita Kulikov, a member of the State Duma’s expert council, still warns that the current version of the bill may be inaccurate, and lawmakers imply a complete ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia outside of the platforms officially registered with the Central Bank.
Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma committee on the financial market, noted that the current version of the bill is being approved. Its adoption is planned before the end of this year.