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Cryptocurrency ownership may become illegal in Russia

Cryptocurrency ownership may become illegal in Russia

According to the draft law about digital assets, ownership and operations with cryptocurrencies may become outlawed. Developers of software and electronic wallets are also under threat, Forbes reports, citing its sources.

The representative of the Ministry of Economic Development said that the department understands the seriousness of the bill and is making every effort to reach a compromise between the parties. Experts also take into account the importance of cryptocurrencies for the digital economy development. That is why it is planned to hold additional consultations with stakeholders to take their opinions into account.

The documents regulating the circulation of digital assets were submitted to the State Duma by Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the committee on the financial market. In 2018, the package was adopted on the first reading. By the second reading, the document clarified the definitions of digital currencies and digital assets. The first includes all cryptocurrencies, the second — all financial tools, which are issued by the Central Bank. The regulators will allow to carry out any transactions with digital financial assets, as well as introduce the appropriate amendments to the Criminal and Administrative Codes in order to control cryptocurrencies. Also, digital currencies will need to be declared at the tax office in order to own them legally.

Skolkovo experts also pointed to a large number of vague definitions in the document that could lead to legal collapse. For example, developers of games that have their own currency inside gaming products can be brought to justice.

Lawyer Maria Agranovskaya is sure that the bills violate the constitutional rights of citizens, since they prohibit to distribute information about cryptocurrencies. This can lead to criminal liability and may restrict the work of some media outlets.

Artem Koltsov, chairman of the State Duma’s digital economy council, said that the document should limit the effect of new financial instruments on the territory of the country that correspond to the development of technologies in the global economy.

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