Russia is gearing up for the much-awaited legislation that will finally regulate the cryptocurrency space. Reports from Moscow indicate that the word “cryptocurrency” has been removed from the legal texts. Still, Russians have to accept that decentralized electronic cash is here to stay. Regardless of what the law stipulates, they now have a lot of options to engage in the digital currency.
For months, Russia’s crypto regulatory framework has been deferred. Three bills have been filed in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, last May. As ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, the bills have been slated for adoption in July. On the other hand, deputies have experienced difficulty in synchronizing and merging the drafts into a single legislation. After last spring’s first reading, authorities have then deferred the second reading and the final voting for the sessions this fall.
The much-awaited amended legislation “On Digital Financial Assets” is expected to be presented for public discussions in October. The law will hopefully be adopted by the end of 2018. However, the term “cryptocurrency” has become the pain in the neck of Russian legislators. These lawmakers have been working to create legal definitions for a number of novel terms related to the fintech industry while avoiding to cause a conflict with existing law that declares the ruble as the sole legal tender and which bans all money alternatives. According to a report by local media outlet Izvestia, the legislators decided to scratch out the term “cryptocurrency” from the law. Izvestia also reports that the news outlet has already seen the draft’s latest version.
Another crucial issue is crypto mining. The legislation originally defines the process as the method of “creating cryptocurrency.” The Izvestia report indicates that the document now defines the process as the issuance of tokens for the purpose of attracting capital investments. Notably, this description is more appropriate for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Nevertheless, tokens will now correspond to property rights and ownership stakes. Once passed into law, registered domestic and foreign firms, as well as private individuals, can now issue digital coins, granted that they are secured with other assets.
An alternative bill has also been proposed by an industry association that merges a number of the country’s biggest business ventures. In contrast with the government-backed legislation, the draft authored by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE) specifies the granting of special status to digital currencies.
Russians will highly unlikely stop buying, selling, and utilizing digital currency just because the word no longer exists in the legal dictionary. Many trading platforms give them the opportunity to join the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Despite the current legal ambiguity and the forthcoming vague legislation, payment processors and banks continue to work with exchanges.
According to the local media, among the most popular Russian platforms include C-cex, Exmo, Hitbtc, Livecoin, Spectrocoin, and Yobit. A different report rates platforms based on their trading volume namely Binance, Exmo, Hitbtc, Livecoin, Poloniex, Yobit, and others. Just like the U.K.-domiciled Exmo, a number of these platforms support crypto-ruble trades and are quite popular not only in the Russian Federation but also in the Soviet states, not to mention Ukraine where it is now on the three top exchanges, together with Kuna and BTC Trade UA.
There are a lot of ways to trade and no law can stop Russians who want to engage in crypto trading. Another recently published report describes how Russian crypto advocates can exchange coins with rubles and have their money sent to their bank accounts, crypto, and fiat wallets. And whether members of the State Duma are aware of it or not, a huge number of platforms process both crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat transactions.
Service provider Best Change presents Russians the opportunity to acquire the most advantageous exchange rate for their currency may it be digital or fiat. The service provider just needs the traders’ preferred pair and the website will list down dozens of licensed online exchangers that support the desired transaction. Investors can check the crypto reserves of every platform, use statistical market data, and even receive email notifications when someone is ready to meet their price.