Updated Russian Crypto Bill Defangs Punishments for Using Crypto

A new version of Russia’s major draft bill on cryptocurrency regulation does not include criminal offence codes as lawmakers are expected to hold the bill’s second reading tomorrow.

According to official records of the State Duma, Russia’s legislative body, the Duma’s Committee on Financial Market has proposed the second reading of the bill “On Digital Financial Assets,” or DFA, on July 21.

In the Russian legislation system, each bill is subject to three readings as it passes the development from draft to adoption. While the second reading is designed to sum up amendments and proposals to the draft bill, the third reading is associated with final adoption.

According to the draft bill document published on July 20, the proposed legislation does not intend to introduce criminal liability like fines and prison terms for illegal use of crypto in Russia.

Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the State Duma and a major official behind the legislation, confirmed the news to local news agency RIA Novosti. “This bill will not include liability,” Aksakov told, noting that the Committee decided to abandon the idea of introducing the administrative and criminal offences codes to the bill.

According to Aksakov, the DFA bill is likely to pass in July 2020. He expects it to be enforced starting from Jan. 1, 2021.

As previously reported, Russian politicians were considering major punishments for illegal usage of cryptocurrencies in May 2020. The officials suggested fines up to nearly $30,000 as well as seven-year jail terms for violations like illegal turnover and issuance of crypto. According to media reports, the proposals were part of the DFA bill.

However, the DFA will not be the sole part of Russia’s upcoming crypto legislation as there is also another bill that is called “On Digital Currency,” or DC. Aksakov elaborated that the bill “On Digital Currency” is a separate document that would actually determine the crypto regulation, while the DFA bill only provides key industry terms like the notion of a “digital asset.”

According to Aksakov, the State Duma expects to pass the bill “On Digital Currency” during the autumn session, which ends in late December.

The history of crypto legislation development in Russia has seen a number of delays in moving forward since early 2018. First introduced in January 2018, the DFA bill was delayed multiple times despite Russia’s President Vladimir Putin ordering it to be adopted at least twice. Eventually, Aksakov admitted that the delays were caused by disagreement on the new asset type between a number of local authorities.

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