Russia’s cryptocurrency legislation to resemble that of Japan, US

Maria Nikolova

Russian legislators are trying to use elements of the New York licensing system and Japanese laws to shape Russia’s cryptocurrency legislation.

Russia is working on its own legislation for cryptocurrencies and is actively examining the expertise of other nations in this respect, according to Russia’s Internet ombudsman Dmitry Marinichev.

In an interview for the “Russia 24” TV channel on Wednesday, Mr Marinichev said that the Russia’s cryptocurrency legislation will be similar to a degree to that of Japan, and to a degree to that of New York (the New York DFS licensing system).

Concerning the current popularity of Bitcoin trading, he said he would not recommend Russians to participate in Bitcoin trading in the near future, as the risk of loss is too high. One of the factors for that is the pending system upgrade.

Mr Marinichev added, however, that the perspectives for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are better in the longer term – talking of a time horizon of at least a couple of years.

He stressed the increased understanding of Russian authorities of blockchain and Bitcoin. Indeed, even the Central Bank of Russia has this year become way more welcoming towards blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies. This stance has marked a stark contrast to the bank’s initial position that treated Bitcoin and its likes as money surrogates and warned that any activities associated with them may be treated as violations of AML laws.

In May this year, it became clear that the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications expects the legal provisions for the legalization of the DLT technologies like blockchain to be in place in 2019. In March this year, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev joined the supporters of blockchain technology by instructing the Ministry of Telecom and Mass Communications and the Ministry of Economic Development to explore the possible applications of the blockchain technology during the preparation of the “Digital Economy” program.

Russian businesses have been increasingly adopting blockchain-based solutions and have been examining the use of cryptocurrencies in their operations. The latest news in this respect come from airlines. Earlier in July, Russia’s main airline – Aeroflot-Rossiyskiye Avialinii PAO (MCX:AFLT), published a procurement notice for proposals for the implementation of crypto-currencies and related technologies in its operations. Another push in this direction has been made by Alfa-Bank and S7 airline that have partnered on a project that will allow selling of flight tickets based on the Ethereum blockchain.

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