Cryptos are now legal in Russia, but still not a means of payment

By: Ali Raza
Ali Raza
Ali plays a key role in the cryptocurrency news team. He loves travelling during his spare time and enjoys… read more.
on Aug 1, 2020
  • Russian Duma has finally held the third and final reading of the crypto bill.
  • The event resulted in passing the bill, thus giving cryptos a legal status in the country.
  • While it is legal to acquire and hold cryptos, they are banned from being used as a means of payment.

The status of cryptocurrencies in Russia has been a matter of debate for years. No one could predict whether the country would ban them, legalize them, or simply not do anything, thus leaving them in the gray area and thus preventing major investors from even considering them.

The country’s president, Vladimir Putin, requested that the lawmakers come up with regulations for crypto multiple times. However, constant delays kept leaving their status in the country inconclusive.

The crypto bill’s third reading changes the status of digital currencies

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This finally changed earlier this week, after the lawmakers passed a bill that gave digital currencies legal status. However, there is a catch — cryptos are still not allowed to be used as a means of payment.

From what is known, the Russian Duma, the country’s lower house of parliament, finally approved the bill after its third reading. The move defined cryptocurrencies as “a complex of digital data, a digital code, or a reference, that is stored in the information system.”

This definition is now included in the country’s law, according to the head of the Russian Banking Association and a financial committee, Anatoly Aksakov.

What’s next for the bill?

The next step is to send the bill to the parliament’s upper house, from where it will proceed to the Kremlin. While the bill still has some way to go, passing through these last two governing bodies is typically considered to be a formality, rather than an actual challenge for the new law.

But, as mentioned, digital coins are banned from being a means of payment — something that was further confirmed by the country’s central bank. Possessing cryptos, on the other hand, is legal if declared, and the same is true for its transfer and acquisition by legal means. The new stance towards crypto strongly differs from the original one, which made cryptocurrencies completely illegal in the country as soon as they originally emerged. Back then, the country had strong concerns about cryptocurrencies being used for financing terrorism or money laundering.

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