Russia Promotes Development of Digital Economy Through New Legislation

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has approved the enactment of a new digital rights bill proposed in October 2018, as indicated in a press release published March 12.

According to the State Duma’s recent release, the amendment to Russia’s civil code has passed the parliament’s final reading on Tuesday, effectively establishing how “digital rights” can be exercised and transferred, in addition to outlining rules governing digital transactions including contracts. Furthermore, the Russian legislation has added article 141.1 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, forming “the basis for the development of the digital economy.”

As State Duma chairman Vyacheslav Volodin emphasized:

“This is a new area for our rights, thus it is important for us to consolidate the basic concepts.”

Though there are still a number of flaws in the measure, Russia’s legal landscape and approach after October will still be far better than other jurisdictions, Moscow-based legal firm senior partner Aleksandr Zhuravlev told Russian-language crypto news outlet Forklog.

As Zhuravlev was quoted as stating:

“Of course the current project has flaws […] that could lead to ambiguity in some areas: determining the legal nature of cryptocurrencies and mining, as well as several other aspects (digital financial asset inheritance etc.) However, its worth noting that Russia has not gone down the route of China or India, which have selected a prohibitive approach to digital assets.

The bill’s enactment comes after a protracted deliberation among Russian lawmakers over how digital assets should be approached in terms of civil property rights, as they work on drafting the legislation titled “On Digital Financial Assets.”

As indicated in a previous report by Russian news agency RNS, during Duma’s second of three readings earlier this month, the parliament passed the crypto legislation and is now expected to take into effect by the end of March, according to Duma’s committee on financial markets, Anatoly Aksakov.

The legislation is in line with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s previous remarks disclosing plans of enacting a regulatory measure governing digital assets by July.