A working group of the State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of Parliament) has expressed support for regulating rather than abolishing digital assets, amid ongoing talks between the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) and the country’s Finance Ministry on the future of crypto.
The working group recommended “clear regulation of the digital assets business” as the most effective way to mitigate the risks of cryptocurrency adoption in the country.
According to local media, a panel discussion organised by the Duma’s working committee “On the questions of cryptocurrency regulation” drew more than 50 experts. The participants came to the opinion that “successful and transparent” regulation of Russia’s digital asset business requires methods “to control bitcoin transactions”. As experts pointed out, similar procedures already exist in other nations. Albeit no information on which jurisdictions they were referring to is publicly available.
The session’s most important conclusion is the group’s apparent support for the Finance Ministry’s regulatory strategy. Albeit with some technical objections. Experts asked the Ministry to improve the bill’s language on non-institutional mining, traditional institutions’ roles, know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, and illicit crypto use.
If the lower house follows the advice of its own working group, it will support the Finance Ministry’s position in the tense discussion with the CBR. Which favours a limited approach to cryptocurrency.
“Framework for controlling the mechanics of digital currency circulation”
In 2022, the war reached a critical juncture. The CBR proposed a ban on mining and the circulation of private digital currencies in the country on January 20. The Finance Ministry soon responded by releasing its own “Framework for controlling the mechanics of digital currency circulation”. Which recognised digital assets as fiat currencies in many ways.
On Feb. 18, both bodies introduced bills that were incompatible with one another. The CBR reiterated its plan to prohibit cryptocurrency issuance and circulation. While the Ministry recommended defining legal standards for exchange platforms that would allow them to operate under special registration procedures.
The Central Bank’s position in the crypto debate appears increasingly fragile. With early hints of parliamentary support and a new regulatory roadmap presented by deputy prime minister Dmitriy Chernyshenko. Within both the executive and legislative arms of government, the regulator’s blanket prohibition plan has few institutional supporters.