Russia legalises cryptocurrencies

03 Aug 2020

Russia’s bill to regulate cryptocurrencies has been signed into law by the country’s President Vladimir Putin. 

The new law, which comes into effect on 1 January 2021, gives legal status to cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, according to state media outlet RIA Novosti.

The law gives a definition to digital currencies, stating that it “is recognised as an aggregate of electronic data capable of being accepted as the payment means, not being the monetary unit of the Russian Federation or a foreign state, and as investments,” Russian news agency, TASS said. 

It added that digital financial assets “are digital rights comprising money claims, ability to exercise rights under negotiable securities, rights to participate in equity of a non-public stock company and right to claim transfer of negotiable securities set in a resolution on the DFA issue,” TASS noted. 

However, whilst cryptocurrencies can be sold, purchased, and exchanged, they still cannot be used as a means of payment in Russia.

Regarding digital asset trading by banks, it states: “The central bank is vested with the authority to maintain the register of information systems and the register of operators of digital financial assets exchange and supervise the business of information system operators.”

Banks and crypto exchanges need to be registered with the Russian central bank if they want to act as exchange operations of digital currencies. 

“The central bank is vested with the authority to maintain the register of information systems and the register of operators of digital financial assets exchange and supervise the business of information system operators,” TASS noted.