Regulatory issues are still far from being resolved in the world of cryptocurrencies. For instance, China has not welcomed cryptocurrencies. It even renewed its decision to ban cryptos with its recent actions.
In the US, you have the US Securities and Exchange Commission doing its best to provide regulatory clarity in the industry. Despite classifying Bitcoin and Ethereum as commodities and not as securities, SEC commissioner Jay Clayton received a letter from Congress asking them to clarify its stance.
On the other hand, in Russia, its regulators have been working towards a crypto regulation since January 2018. It has previously considered cryptos as property and not as money. The government’s main bill, “On Digital Technologies” is expected to become law by July with the help of President Vladimir Putin’s initiative. However, it has experienced a delay and is expected to become a law by October Duma session.
There are good news and bad news in these recent developments. Cryptocurrencies weren’t exactly frowned upon in Russia, not until recently. In a recent press release, Russian lawmakers were unable to decide exactly how to perceive cryptocurrencies. And after the debate, lawmakers decided to eliminate the term from its law. What makes it shocking is the fact that Russia is quite friendly when it comes to its approach in the crypto niche. Russia even launched its own successful initial coin offering.
Confusion and Lack of Coordination Among Legislators
The regulatory framework was presented under the instructions of Putin to the lower house of parliament. And what it did is cause confusion and the lack of coordination among legislators. And with this, Russia experienced a delay in their decision-making process.
Complexity of the Subject
If you will ask Artem Tolkachev, who is the self-proclaimed “first” lawyer in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) working on Bitcoin and blockchain companies, the reason for the delay is the “complexity of the subject and the lack of consensus over the state authorities about how and what they should regulate”.
There were conflicts between the Russian Central Bank and the Ministry of Economic Development. The latter was more open to cryptocurrencies while the former has a more conservative stance as expected from most central banks. According to Tolkachev, the bill has not lived up to its expectations.
Tokachev mentioned to Cointelegraph, “I spent around two years discussing with the central bank, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development, the general security service and all [the] other guys [about] how we can regulate this stuff. And I was trying to sell the idea […] that we can be the country who attracts that kind of business and have the crypto-friendly environment here. Unfortunately, we have what we have. What can I say? That’s it”.
A Study Focusing on Cryptos
In order to aid legislators with the necessary information regarding the classification of cryptocurrencies, Russia’s Federal Financial monitoring Services (FFMS) is looking to come up with a study that focuses on the crypto niche from issues surrounding crypto transactions to wallets. The study is expected to be finalized by the year end. And this means that any regulatory development in Russia regarding cryptocurrencies aren’t exactly expected until at least the end of the year.
Will Russia have its crypto regulations by the end of the year or by early next year? Given recent developments, will they be able to come up with a regulatory decision that pertains to such complex subject?