Russian lawmakers will consider a draft law on cryptocurrency mining in 2023 despite earlier indications they were going to vote on the proposal in December. The bill is expected to set the rules for the extraction and sale of cryptocurrency in Russia amid sanctions limiting the country’s access to global finances and markets.
Russia’s New Crypto Mining Legislation Is Yet to Be Fully Approved
Members of the State Duma will review and vote on the draft law designed to legalize cryptocurrency mining in the Russian Federation in 2023, the head of the Financial Market Committee Anatoly Aksakov announced in comments for the crypto section of the business news portal RBC.
The high-ranking lawmaker, who has been closely involved in efforts to regulate Russia’s crypto space, explained that the proposed legislation needs additional approvals. He was likely referring to the reconciliation of the positions of the various regulators involved in the process.
The bill, which was submitted to the lower house of Russian parliament in November, introduces amendments to the existing law “On Digital Financial Assets.” The latter went into force in January of 2021 and only partially regulated crypto-related activities.
Mining, for which Russia has certain competitive advantages like low-cost power and a cool climate, has been expanding as an industry and spreading as an additional income source for many amateur miners, especially in the country’s energy-rich regions.
Throughout this year, Russian government institutions have been mulling over how to expand the current regulatory framework to cover operations with cryptocurrencies. While most officials remain opposed to allowing the free circulation of bitcoin and the like inside Russia, their use in cross-border payments amid financial restrictions imposed over the war in Ukraine has gained significant support. Sanctions have affected the mining sector, too.
The mining law was initially rejected by the legal department of the Duma which insisted that the draft should first be coordinated with the Bank of Russia. The central bank, which has maintained a hardline stance on crypto, later supported the document under the condition that the minted coins will either be sold abroad or exchanged to fiat only under special legal regimes in Russia.
In mid-December, Aksakov’s committee considered the bill and proposed its adoption on first reading before the end of the fall session. The establishment of the “experimental legal regimes” proposed by the Bank of Russia should be regulated with a separate bill which also had to be filed with the Duma this year. Aksakov added that this piece of legislation needs to be approved as well.
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