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Russian Parliament Could Pass Digital Financial Assets Bill Next Month

Last updated: | 1 min read

Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, could pass its long-awaited crypto laws as early as March – and it appears that the impasse between pro-crypto businesses and the crypto-skeptic central bank may finally be over.

Source: iStock/Baris-Ozer

Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the Duma’s financial committee, a lawmaker for the A Just Russia party and the man charged with getting the legislation through parliament, claimed that he was hopeful the Duma could pass the laws in the upcoming spring session.

Aksakov stated, per state-run news agency RIA Novosti, that although the central Bank of Russia and other bodies had “conflicting views” on cryptocurrencies, the parties had now found common ground.

The committee chief stated,

“The disagreements had not been resolved to date. But last week another meeting took place, and they appeared to come to an agreement. A text is now being prepared, which will be submitted to the relevant institutions, including [the central bank].”

This could lead, he said, to a second and possibly third reading for the bills, whose first readings passed the Duma almost two years ago.

Russia’s central bank has long remained wary of cryptocurrencies. As recently as November last year, senior bank officials indicated that they would support a proposed national ban on crypto payments, claiming they “carry significant risks, including criminal money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.”

Earlier this month, Aksakov said that large Russian companies were “ready to use blockchain technology for economic operations” and admitted that it was now time “to create a legal framework” for crypto-keen Russian businesses.

The bills were initially proposed as a package of three fintech-related bills in early 2018, only one of which has since been passed. Ongoing disputes between crypto supporters and crypto-skeptic state institutions have prevented the long-suffering Aksakov and his team from finalizing their legislative work.