Russian State Duma Defers Consideration of Bill On Digital Financial Assets

The State Duma of the Russian Federation has deferred consideration of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” to April 2019, local media outlet TASS reported on March 20.

The second reading of the draft federal law “On Digital Financial Assets” has reportedly been rescheduled for April, following a decision made at the morning voting on the agenda of the plenary session. The initiative was taken by the Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Market, Anatoly Aksakov, although he did not explain his motives.

The bill “On Digital Financial Assets” aims to formulate national cryptocurrency legislation, and was adopted by Russia’s parliament in the second reading earlier in March. Vyacheslav Volodin, the Chairman of the State Duma and coauthor of the draft bill, stressed then that the adopted amendments are aimed at fixing the difficulties related to the concept of digital rights.

The wording of the bill prepared for the second reading excludes the definition of a token, cryptocurrency, and smart contract. The document provides the definition of digital financial assets, saying that such assets are represented by digital rights, including liabilities and other rights, monetary claims, and the possibility of exercising rights in regards to equity securities and rights to require the transfer of equity securities.

As reported last December, Pavel Krasheninnikov, the head of the council and chairman of the State Duma committee on state building and also a coauthor of the bill, said that the bill had been pushed back to the first reading stage as it needed to be dramatically changed.

Recently, Russia’s parliament voted to enact new digital rights legislation in October of this year. The law reportedly establishes the concept of “digital rights” in Russian legislation with the addition of a new article, 141.1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, and determines how digital rights can be exercised and transferred, as well establishes rules for digital transactions, including contracts.

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