Russia Proposes Bill for Imposing Fines on Illegal Exchange and Issuance of Digital Assets

A new bill has been introduced in the State Duma that is aimed at imposing financial penalties on all those entities that are engaged in the issuance or exchange of crypto or digital assets. This legislation was put forward by the same person who had presented another draft law that bans the use of digital financial assets as a method of payment.

New Bill in the Parliament

The lower house of parliament in Russia is called the State Duma and a bill was recently submitted that deals with digital financial assets (DFAs). This is how Russia is currently referring to cryptocurrencies and according to the proposed legislation, any individual or entity that issues these assets illegally will be subject to hefty fines.

In case of approval of the legislation, companies that do not have the authorization to operate as investment platforms or exchanges will have to pay financial penalties to the state. According to the report, the amount of fine applicable will vary for individuals, officials and legal entities. People will be subject to a fine of 5,000 Russian rubles, which is almost $90, while officials would be charged 30,000 rubles, or ($550).

As far as legal entities are concerned, they would have to pay penalties between 70,000 and 1,000,000 rubles, or more than $18,000. Similar penalties would be applicable to businesses that are not in compliance with regulations associated with digital rights. These penalties would be around 700,000 rubles.

Anatoly Aksakov’s Bill

The new draft law was submitted by the head of the Financial Market Committee in the Russian parliament, Anatoly Aksakov. The high-ranking official has been quite active in terms of developing a regulatory framework for overseeing crypto assets in Russia. Back in January last year, legislation called ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ was approved in the country, which provides partial regulation for the crypto sector.

However, it does not oversee all aspects, due to which further regulation is required and this is where Anatoly Aksakov has been making his efforts. Earlier this month, the executive had introduced another crypto-related bill banning the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. The authorities in Moscow are currently exploring different regulations to be introduced in the country relevant to crypto.

But, there is one point where officials are in consensus; they should not be used for payment purposes. Russia has no intention of replacing the Russian ruble as legal tender or adding another currency to the list. Nonetheless, there has been increasing support for the idea of using crypto to conduct small business transactions on an international scale.

Even the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is onboard with the idea, even though it has heavily opposed the use of crypto for payments. This is in light of the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia due to its ‘military operation’ in Ukraine. The Ministry of Finance had proposed another draft bill by the name of ‘On Digital Currency’ back in February, but it has not been reviewed as yet.