The bill for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Russia is ready. It was jointly developed by the country’s central bank and finance ministry. The regulators have shared some details of the bill including how mining activities are to be taxed.
The Russian Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Russia jointly presented the bill for the regulation of cryptocurrencies and ICOs at the finance ministry’s meeting of the public council on Thursday. The bill is expected to be adopted in March, according to the chairman of the State Duma Financial Markets Committee, Anatoly Aksakov. President Vladimir Putin has mandated the regulatory framework for both cryptocurrencies and ICOs be finalized by July 1 of next year.
The central bank’s first deputy chairman, Olga Skorobogatova, said at the meeting that the bank “does not consider and will not consider cryptocurrencies as settlement or payment means,” Tass reported.
The finance ministry has proposed defining cryptocurrencies as “other property.” Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev explained that, based on this definition, “you can buy a cryptocurrency and exchange it for other property,” including ICO tokens.
On the subject of Russia’s national cryptocurrency, the cryptoruble, “both the finance ministry and the central bank equally negatively assess the prospects for the creation and release of the national cryptocurrency,” the publication described.
Moiseev said that the finance ministry does not see the need for the cryptoruble.
Skorobogatova concurred, stating that the central bank “does not think this is advisable from the point of view of the macroeconomics of the population.” On the other hand, she revealed that “The Bank of Russia is considering the possibility of introducing a supranational digital currency within the BRICS or the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC).”
The central bank’s deputy believes that “the issue of a common cryptocurrency for a number of countries is very promising, more than that for a single nation,” RT reported and quoted her saying:
“The participants of different economic events where I usually take part… all come to the conclusion the issue of a virtual currency is not needed much by one country…it makes sense to discuss the cryptocurrency on the level of several countries such as BRICS and EAEC. It makes sense to set one equivalent for all payments.”
As news.Bitcoin.com reported earlier this week, the bill allows for ICOs but establishes restrictions on them. Those who are not qualified investors “will be able to purchase tokens of a certain type for an amount not exceeding 50 thousand rubles (~USD$869),” Tass reiterated. The ministry also suggested limiting “the maximum amount of funds raised by an ICO to 1 billion rubles (~$17.4 million).”
Regarding the ICO limits, the president of the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RABIC), Yuri Pripachkin, argued that ICO fundraising should not be limited as they can “attract an unlimited amount of foreign investments to Russian projects.”
The bill presented on Thursday also contains the definition of mining and how it will be taxed, according to the news outlet. Moiseev told reporters that individual entrepreneurs and legal entities could engage in mining activities, adding that:
“The Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation expects to levy a mining tax by analogy with the taxation of business activities.”
He elaborated that the current tax legislation will apply and the Federal Tax Service will decide if there is a volume threshold for the taxation of mining.
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