Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again demonstrated his apathy towards crypto assets. In what appears to be a new blow to the crypto community, crypto enthusiasts resident in Russia are now officially prohibited from making any form of payments with digital assets in Russia.
Russia has not fully welcomed the idea of crypto despite financial restrictions
Despite being cut off from most traditional payments systems in Europe and beyond due to its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has not fully welcomed the idea of turning to crypto assets as an alternative payments system. The bill which prohibits the use of virtual assets as payments for goods and/or services was signed into law by Putin on July 14.
The State Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, introduced the bill which refers to virtual assets as “digital financial assets”, or DFA. The draft notes, “The Ruble is the official monetary unit of the Russian Federation. The aforementioned article sets a prohibition against the introduction of other monetary units or monetary surrogates on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
There is already an existing Federal Law approved on July 24, 2020, which addresses the use of digital assets as payment methods, but it doesn’t clearly spell out their prohibition. The recent bill was introduced with an aim of adjusting the existing law in order to explicitly state this prohibition.
The house unanimously adopted the bill before passing it to the president. The bill passed three readings in the house; in all readings, every house member went for its adoption, with none going against it at any point. Furthermore, no member of the house abstained.
Russia noted plans to issue digital Ruble
This report comes two months after Russian Minister of Industry and Trade, Denis Manturov mentioned that the country is looking to legalize crypto as a means of payment.
In May, the minister was asked in a forum if he thinks crypto will be legalized as a payment means in Russia; replying, he said, “… but everyone needs to understand that … sooner or later this will be implemented, in some format or another.”
Considering the situation Russia finds itself in regarding being excommunicated from the conventional financial system, one would expect a more favorable approach to crypto legislation now. Nevertheless, the regulatory situation in the country is still uncertain, with the governor of Russia’s central bank, Elvira Nabiullina expressing her disapproval of the asset class within Russia. She only approved of it as a payment means for international trade.
While recent happenings have made Russia a tad softer on Crypto, a complete acceptance is not yet part of the Russia-based crypto enthusiasts’ reality, but the community hopes to see that actualised soon. The country recently noted that plans would be set in place to issue its own digital Ruble as a way around its financial restrictions.