Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin officially on Tuesday instructed for the government to reach a consensus on the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia by December 19, 2022.
The Prime Minister specifically called on the State Duma and other state bodies to come up with a coordinated policy to regulate the issuance and circulation of digital currencies in Russia. Mishustin also asked regulators to finalize regulations for cryptocurrency mining and cross-border digital currency transactions.
The official stressed that the upcoming crypto-regulation proposals should be in line with the Russian Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, the anti-money laundering agency Rosfinmonitoring, the Federal Tax Service and the Federal Security Service.
The latest news brings further official confirmation that Russia is getting more serious about the possibility of cryptocurrencies for cross-border transactions.
Deputy Minister of Finance Alexei Moiseyev announced last week that the Bank of Russia had agreed with the Ministry of Finance to legalize cryptocurrencies for cross-border payments. Despite its willingness to approve cross-border transactions, the Russian central bank still contradictory the legalization of local crypto exchanges as well as the legalization of cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
The feasibility of banning domestic crypto exchanges while allowing cross-border payments obviously raises many questions, especially given that Russia is yet to come up with a framework to provide such laws.
Russia may be the first country in the world to allow cross-border crypto payments while banning local crypto payments, Maria Agranovskaya, a legal representative and fintech expert in the Russian State Duma, told Cointelegraph. “As far as I know, this is not a common approach,” she said.
The question of how exactly Russia plans to differentiate between domestic and cross-border crypto payments is yet to be answered, Agranovskaya noted. “This distinction does not yet exist. All ‘foreign’ cryptocurrencies are considered digital currency and that’s it for now,” she said, adding:
“It’s absolutely unclear at the moment. I assume the matter will be in line with currency control regulations – tax residents in the local territory will not be able to use cryptocurrencies for internal payments.”
Despite this, Russia has emerged as one of the most uncertain jurisdictions for cryptocurrencies passes its main law on cryptocurrencies, “On Digital Financial Assets” in 2020. The law prohibited Russians from using cryptocurrencies as payment, but did not ban activities such as cryptocurrency trading and mining in the country. Russian financial regulators have not approved any local cryptocurrency trading platform, they only allow crypto trades through foreign crypto exchanges such as Binance.