Russia Prepares to Create Government-Controlled Crypto Exchange

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Russia Prepares to Create Government-Controlled Crypto 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 establish a cryptocurrency exchange. Mid-November, the deputies discussed the initiative with industry representatives, according to the leading Russian business daily Vedomosti, citing two informed sources.

The publication revealed that lawmakers intend to prepare a draft taking into account the opinions of market participants before submitting it to the government and the Central Bank of Russia. The sources noted that neither the monetary authority nor the Ministry of Finance were present at the meeting. Planned amendments will be made to the country’s “On Digital Financial Assets” law, which went into effect in January 2021. It’s still the main piece of legislation regulating the country’s crypto space, although only partially.

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Other changes proposed last week aim to legalize mining while prohibiting the circulation, exchange, and non-targeted advertising of cryptocurrencies in Russia, with the exception of “experimental legal regimes” that permit the use of cryptocurrencies as payment for imports.

Sergey Altukhov, a member of the Economic Policy Committee of the Russian parliament and a member of the ruling United Russia party, confirmed to Vedomosti that work is already underway to establish a legal framework for a Russian crypto exchange. In addressing the issue, the lawmaker insisted: “It makes no sense to say that cryptocurrencies do not exist, but the problem is that they circulate largely outside of government regulation.”

According to Altukhov, it all amounts to billions of rubles in lost budget revenue that the Russian Federation could have collected. He emphasized the need to establish the conditions for the legalization of cryptocurrencies and to adjust the “rules of the game” so that they do not conflict with the positions of the executive power and the central bank.

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One source added that the future exchange is not viewed as a platform that will facilitate the spread of cryptocurrencies or their use as a payment method in Russia, but rather as a location where Russians will be able to declare and convert their digital holdings into fiat currency. At least one such website, in his opinion, should be established under Russian jurisdiction to avoid potential foreign restrictions and security risks associated with data storage abroad.

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