Russian parliament allocates RUB 2.5m for blockhain, cryptocurrencies, ICO research

Maria Nikolova

The Russian Duma is requesting a detailed analysis of the risks and advantages of new financial technologies: the parliament wants to know about the pros and cons of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and ICOs.

Russia’s institutions continue to look for ways to implement some form of control over the booming world of cryptocurrencies and the technologies associated with them. The latest example in this respect comes from the Russian parliament, as the State Duma is now inviting offers for research in the area of new financial technologies, including blockchain.

According to the official information, the Duma is setting aside RUB 2,498,800 (USD 43,453) for expert research about “Regulation of the implementation and practical adoption of contemporary financial technologies”.

The Duma notes the rapid evolution of the new financial technologies and emphasizes the need to adapt them to the Russian market in a way that protects them from being destroyed by rules that are too harsh. However, the anonymity that goes along with many of the new technologies brings risks, such as the ability to finance terrorist activities, and the market has to be safeguarded from them, the document states.

In particular, the project requires an analysis of the use and implementation of blockchain, as well as the technologies associated with cryptocurrencies. The analysis has to cover the effects and the risks of the use of blockchain as a basis of decentralized systems for transactions and deals in the financial market and the payments services segment. The research should also examine the risks of using crypto currencies in the payments industry and should propose ways to minimize these risks.

The Duma also requires an analysis of the use of ICOs and suggestions for ways of regulating them.

The research should include a comparative analysis of how other jurisdictions approach these issues. The results of the research will serve as a basis for drafting the Russian laws concerning new financial technologies.

The candidates should submit their offers not later than October 10, 2017.

Earlier in September, the Bank of Russia said it was monitoring the cryptocurrency markets and is exploring ways to regulate the segment. The “Megaregulator” reiterated its critical stance about the use of cryptocurrencies and ICOs, stressing the risks they bear and that investors in cryptocurrencies are not protected, as the industry is not regulated at this point.

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