Russia Has a Draft Law that Pushes for the Legalization of Crypto and Blockchain within a Controlled Environment


On March 24, Russian news publication Izvestia reported that the country’s federal ministry had introduced a draft law that aims to explore Blockchain and cryptocurrencies within a designated zone. 

The news represents a massive move for Russia, a country wherein crypto and Blockchain enthusiasts are facing regulatory uncertainties. As per the report, the proposal was created by the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and was first introduced on March 17 to the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s Federal Assembly. 

The draft law notably focuses on the testing of Blockchain and crypto-related technologies to eight industries, such as government services, financial market, trade, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, distant learning, and transport. Among the first experiments to try, according to the proposal, involves remote diagnostics, uncrewed vehicles, and usage of personal data without written consent. Regions in the country would be allowed to build and facilitate their local sandboxes as well. 

Additionally, the draft law clarifies that all interested participants would be temporarily regulation-proof. However, there are factors to be analyzed and monitored, such as the size of capital, reporting method, and reserve funds before they can be allowed to join the regulatory sandbox project.

This move from the Federal Ministry came hot on the heels of the Bank of Russia’s announcement about the impending crypto ban. Notably, when approved, the bill entitled “On Digital Financial Assets” would put an end to the country’s crypto market as it would allow no crypto-related activities except holding. 

A senior expert from the Moscow think tank Center for Strategic Research, Olga Shepeleva, said that the government should consider the law if they really want to develop the country’s digital economy. However, some analysts believe that the law can influence the power balance, which at this point seems to be swaying toward the executive branch. 

Commenting on the latest development, a research director from Moscow’s Center for Advanced Governance, Mikhail Komin, said that the crypto industry has to wait a little longer. Notably, the global ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic would force the country to depend on unusual solutions, and that they would never resort to crypto, or at least as of now. 


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