New Crypto Regulations Coming for Russia and Central Asia
Region-wide crypto-regulations look to be forthcoming in Russia and its European and Central Asian ally states.
Per Russian news agency Tass, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), a political and economic union comprising Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, has been told to form union-wide regulation for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.
The EEU is planning to follow the EU into a common financial market model by 2025, and its ruling commission’s Integration and Macroeconomics Minister Tatyana Valovaya says that “barriers and possible loopholes” should be eliminated in favor of an area-wide regulator policy. Valovaya also noted that the policy should be based on successful regulatory policies implemented elsewhere in the world.
The minister stated that, as the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors continue to grow, the EEU can ill afford to ignore them when forming economic policy.
The five nations have wildly differing blockchain and cryptocurrency policies – Belarus has attempted to posit itself as one of the most liberal nations in the world, and has legalized cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICO) and smart contracts. Russia also appears to have changed its tune on cryptocurrency, with the government set to introduce “20 blockchain-related bills” this spring, and allow businesses in certain areas to conduct crypto-pay transaction pilots.
Armenia is also increasingly crypto-keen, and hopes to woo international miners to the country, while Kyrgyzstan is working on creating its own state-issued cryptocurrency. However, the picture is a little different in Kazakhstan, where the National Bank last year stated that cryptocurrencies would not be accepted as a means of payment.” Regardless, the crypto and blockchain industry is very large indeed in Kazakhstan. The country’s fintech park, the Astana International Financial Center, is the envy of much of the CIS.
Russia has previously stated that it could seek to develop a digital fiat within the next two years, and is hoping to win EEU-wide support for its project.