Following reports that Russia may introduce new legislation that would essentially criminalize cryptocurrency usage, a recent document revealed that the country is reviewing an updated version of the “Digital Financial Assets” (DFA) bill that excludes criminal allegations.
No Prison In Russia For Cryptocurrency Usage?
As CryptoPotato reported recently, members of Russian’s lower house (the State Duma) contemplated new strict legislation on cryptocurrencies.
The first reading of the DFA bill noted that digital assets could be banned entirely from any usage within Russia. Moreover, it even warned that if citizens broke the law, they could pay fines of $30,000 and face up to five years of forced labor or imprisonment for up to seven years.
At the time, numerous cryptocurrency proponents in the country argued that such extreme measures against digital asset usage could turn away investors from Russia and push them to other jurisdictions.
Consequently, the second reading of the bill, scheduled to take place today, has reportedly removed the intention to introduce criminal liability. Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Duma committee on the financial market, confirmed this by saying that “there will be no responsibility in this bill.”
However, he also noted that the parliament could be considering another legislation that “can be adopted in the autumn session.” Aksanov clarified that the second bill could be more stringent on digital assets.
First Bill To Arrive In January 2021
The ongoing spring session of the State Duma ends this Thursday (July 23rd), and Aksanov explained that all three bill readings could be completed now. According to the head of the committee, the toned-down version of the legislation could see implementation as early as January 2021.
“The law on digital financial assets should come into force on January 1st, 2021. Accordingly, now it should be adopted in the second and third readings in the spring session.”
He also noted that the bill defines cryptocurrencies as “digital codes or designations, or a set of electronic data that is contained in an information system. And this data can be used as a means of payment and a store of value.” Additionally, digital assets are “neither an international monetary unit nor a monetary unit of a foreign state or the Russian Federation.”