In the wake of several proposals to regulate cryptocurrencies, Russia begins moves to determine how they would be classified by law. The Head of State Duma Committee says that they would be classified as ‘digital rights’ instead of cryptocurrencies.
Last May, regulations were proposed to eliminate risks usually associated with the unregulated nature found in the cryptocurrency market. Now, Head of State Duma Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov revealed that drafts are being prepared and could be adopted as early as July 29th.
Aksakov said that Russian legislators have abandoned the terms “cryptocurrency,” “digital money,” and “digital currency,” and have removed thee from the draft proposals. Instead, they will now be known as “digital rights”.
Aksakov stated that:
“The concepts of “digital money” and “digital currency” will definitely disappear from circulation, they will not appear anywhere in the legislation. […] We will remove the term “crypto-currencies.”
He revealed that Russia’s tax laws would have to change to comply with the proposed amendments, as exchanging of digital rights is to be allowed, but won’t refer to these as assets but merely as rights.
“We will need to change something in the Tax Code to describe how digital rights will be taken into account for tax purposes. That is, digital assets will be considered not as property, but as a new type of property digital rights.”
He also revealed that Russia wants to take a different tack towards ICOs compared to the way the US deals with ICOs:
“Token is a digital law, and as it continues to operate it is the prerogative of the Central Bank. First, it is obviously for the ICO procedure to be issued, used as security. […] As for the use of the token as a means of payment, settlement, exchange – this is the next stage, after testing, when the Central Bank examines whether this instrument carries a risk as a means of payment, calculation for the financial system.”
While these statements raise more questions than answers, it does provide clarity on certain matters pertaining to the regulation of crypto in Russia.
It is also worth noting that these are not yet accepted regulatory changes. The Duma has yet to discuss and approve the incorporation of the proposed legislative changes.