Russia to create government-controlled crypto-currency exchange

Russian lawmakers are drafting a law that would allow the creation of a “national crypto-currency exchange“, local media revealed. The currencies are now circulating outside of government oversight, and the Russian state is losing billions of rubles in budget revenue, one of the participants in the efforts noted.

Lawmakers want Russia to have its own crypto-currency exchange.

Members of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, are working on a legal framework that will allow Moscow authorities to set up a Russian crypto-currency exchange. Deputies discussed the initiative with industry representatives in mid-November, Russia’s leading business daily Vedomosti reported, citing two informed sources.

Lawmakers plan to prepare a draft that takes into account the opinions of market participants and then submit it to the government and the Central Bank of Russia, the publication revealed. Representatives of the monetary authority and the finance ministry were not present at the meeting, the sources noted.

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It is planned to make the necessary changes to the national law on digital financial assets, which came into force in January 2021. It is still the main piece of legislation governing the country’s crypto space, albeit only partially.

Other changes proposed last week aim to legalize mining, while banning the circulation, exchange and untargeted advertising of crypto-currencies in Russia, with the exception of “experimental legal regimes“special legal regimes allowing their use in payments for imports.

The news that work is already underway to create the legal basis for a Russian crypto-currency exchange was confirmed to Vedomosti by Sergey Altukhov, a member of the parliamentary economic policy committee of the ruling United Russia party. Commenting on the issue, the lawmaker insisted:

It makes no sense to say that crypto-currencies do not exist, but the problem is that they circulate largely outside of government regulation.

According to Altukhov, it all boils down to billions of rubles of lost budget revenue from taxes that the Russian Federation could collect. He stressed that it is necessary to create conditions for the legalization of crypto-currencies and adjust the “rules of the game“so that they do not contradict the positions of the executive branch and the central bank.

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One of the sources also noted that the future exchange is not seen as a platform that will facilitate the spread of crypto-currencies or their use as a means of payment in Russia, but rather as a place where Russians can declare and convert their digital assets into fiat. According to him, at least one such website should be set up under Russian jurisdiction to avoid potential foreign restrictions and security risks arising from storing data abroad.

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