A bill introducing financial penalties for those who illegally issue or exchange digital financial assets has been submitted to the Russian Parliament. The bill was submitted by the sponsor of another proposed law that would prohibit their use as a means of payment.
The new bill targets Russian platforms that issue and trade digital currencies outside of the law
Individuals and entities that illegally issue digital financial assets (DFA), the current definition of cryptocurrency in Russia, will have to pay significant fines, according to abillrecently submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.
If the bill is adopted, penalties will be imposed on companies that are not registered in the country as operators of exchanges or investment platforms, crypto news outlet Forklog reported Thursday, citing documents.
The fines can be up to 5,000 Russian rubles (about $90) for individuals, 30,000 ($550) for officials, and 700,000 to 1 million rubles (more than $18,000) for corporations, the report detailed. In addition, companies that do not comply with regulations regarding digital rights (tokens) are subject to similar penalties, up to 700,000 rubles ($13,000), the report said.
The draft law is sponsored by Anatoly Aksakov, who chairs the Financial Markets Committee of Parliament. This high-ranking deputy is involved in ongoing efforts to adopt a comprehensive legal framework for the Russian crypto sector. At present, the industry is only partially regulated by the “On Digital Financial Assets” law, which came into effect in January 2021.
Aksakov is also behind another crypto-related bill filed earlier this month, which aims to ban DFA payments in Russia. While Moscow institutions are still debating many future regulations on cryptocurrencies, there is a broad consensus among officials that the ruble should remain the country’s only legal tender.
At the same time, the idea of allowing crypto payments in foreign small business transactions amid tightening financial sanctions has gained support from the Russian central bank, which has consistently opposed the legalization of Bitcoin and other currencies as a means of payment.
In addition, a bill “on digital currencies,” proposed by the Ministry of Finance in February and amended numerous times since, is supposed to regulate these matters. It has been delayed by ongoing debate on its provisions, but is expected to be considered by Russian lawmakers during the fall session of the House of Representatives.
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