Russia’s long and winding road to crypto regulation has taken another unexpected turn – with that of the country Ministry of Economic Affairs wading into a bitter dispute between pro-business groups and the crypto skeptic Central bank – with experts who argue that the new deadlock could “postpone the regulation by a year or more”.
As previously reported, after more than two years of deliberation at the end of last month, a long-awaited draft second reading of the bill “On Digital Assets” finally came out – proposing a partial crypto Chinese-style crackdown that would, Critics say that they effectively end the domestic trading of cryptoassets in Russia and expel crypto-related companies from the country.
But per media outlet Kommersant, the Ministry of Economy has “criticized” the Duma bill in a letter to MPs and instead claims that it is “possible to create mechanisms for the controlled circulation” of cryptoassets. Experts, the news agency says, believe that if the current bill were passed, an “uncontrolled black market” for crypto in Russia would thrive.
The EXMO Maria Stankevich, head of development at exchange, said Cryptonews.com that a “stern” looking bill may have been issued as an attempt to “scare” the super-rich of Moscow, who “are still bringing cash to the chain (USDT) or bitcoin (BTC) to exchange” – with ” a lot of Russian oligarchs’ who are active in the crypto market.
“What we think is going to happen is that the law will be postponed for a year or even longer.
If not, the bill could do more harm than good to powerful business interests, Stankevich said.
Russian stock exchanges and trading platforms headquartered elsewhere in the world, but active in the country, had asked the ministry in a joint statement asking politicians to consider the implications of votes for the bill.
Cryptonews.com has obtained a copy of this statement, which claims that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic it would be unreasonable to damage new growth engines. The authors wrote:
Unemployment is high in Russia and incomes have fallen. It is not rational to kill a young and promising industry while it is still in its infancy. “
Anatoly Aksakov, the chief of the Duma financial market commission, is quoted by Kommersant for not seeing the letter from the ministry yet, but claimed:
“It’s good to be criticized. We are not looking for approval, we need criticism. “
Aksakov stated that the bill was still under discussion, although the Central Bank agreed in principle.