24 Jul 2023 16:04

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia could be created as two-year experiment - Duma Committee head

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) - Cryptocurrency exchanges in Russia could be created in a manner similar to the Islamic banking experiment, for a period of two years, but so far, the process for their legalization is mired in approvals, despite the fact that market participants are actively using crypto instruments for commercial transactions, Anatoly Aksakov, head of the financial market committee, said.

"Unfortunately, we have not yet agreed on the possibility of opening crypto-exchanges in experimental legal form and conducting operations to pay for the import of goods into our country with these instruments," the deputy said during a press conference on Monday.

There is an understanding that market participants are actively using crypto-instruments in trade with external partners and that volumes are in the millions, if not billions of dollars, Aksakov said. "Obviously, all this should be looked at from a legal standpoint, and made to work in our legal space. Unfortunately, we have not yet approached this. I hope that in the autumn session the processes will be activated, at least the topic related to a pilot legal regime, which can be established for two years like the Islamic instruments, can then be legalized, and we will see how it works," Aksakov said.

He added that the agreement with the Central Bank on the legalization of cryptocurrency exchanges as an experiment is at a reasonable level, but it all depends on the position of "various structures" that have not yet given their permission to proceed and launch the legislative process.

In early May, during a session at the eleventh St. Petersburg International Legal Forum, Aksakov announced that four cryptocurrency laws were planned for adoption by the end of July. Among them are a draft law submitted to the State Duma on the creation of an experimental legal regime for the exchange of cryptocurrencies when working in foreign markets and amendments to the Code of Administrative Offenses, the Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure regarding liability for the illegal circulation of cryptocurrencies (not yet submitted to Parliament). Earlier, Aksakov said that the reason for the postponement was the amendments on liability.

Current legislation states that settlements in cryptocurrency on Russian territory are prohibited, while purchases are allowed, which allows both participants in foreign economic activity and citizens to use cryptocurrency exchanges as a settlement tool for transferring funds abroad and receiving funds from abroad. Meanwhile, there is a question of reporting for companies and individual entrepreneurs, as many exchanges do not provide documentation which meets the requirements of Russian regulatory authorities (the Federal Tax Service, the Federal Customs Service and Rosfinmonitoring).