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Russia’s Crypto Mining Bill ‘Has Stalled,’ Says Finance Ministry

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Russia’s crypto mining legalization bill has hit a last-minute obstacle, and the draft law’s progress has now “stalled,” the nation’s Ministry of Finance conceded.

Per Finmarket, the nation’s Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told reporters on Wednesday that the long-awaited bill – which proposes legalizing and taxing industrial crypto mining – had hit yet another late roadblock.

Lawmakers broadly agree with the bill. And they had hoped to speed its progress through the State Duma, Russia’s parliament, in December. Some had talked optimistically about the law coming into force as early as January 1. This was then pushed back to February 1.

But while most MPs have backed the bill, which they think will help raise much-needed treasury funds, the Central Bank has been less eager to give its approval.

Moiseev was quoted as stating:

“We have stalled again. There are objections, now not only from the Central Bank, but also from law enforcement agencies, too. A number of meetings are planned on this matter. It’s not that everyone has given up. We hope to reach an agreement.”

What Last-gasp ‘Objections’ Derailed Russian Mining Bill?

The bill’s chief architect, the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market’s chairman Anatoly Aksakov, suggested that “one of the participants in the discussion” raised late objections.

The Central Bank wants miners to sell their coins immediately after they are acquired, and does not want “private cryptocurrencies” like bitcoin (BTC) to “enter the Russian economy.”

But it seems that police or other law enforcement agencies are opposed to this idea – and are worried that such a system would be open to easy abuse.

Aksakov stated that “a participant” at the talks “had suspicions that the sale channels” that would be used by crypto miners “could be used to illegally withdraw funds abroad.”

The committee chief said that he would “not name the organization that slowed down the movement of the bill.” But he added that this “organization” was concerned that crypto miners could end up “withdrawing capital from Russia.”

The bill, in its current form, states that miners can either exchange their coins for fiat on “foreign crypto exchanges” or via an experimental state-run crypto trading platform. This platform would need to be legislated for in a separate bill.