Russia Postpones Its Crypto Law Again, Now Blaming Coronavirus

After facing multiple delays, the adoption of Russia’s major cryptocurrency law will be postponed again, now due to the coronavirus.

Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, says that the country’s crypto law — the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” — is now finalized but won’t be adopted before the end of the spring 2020.

According to a March 31 report by Russian news agency RBC, Aksakov has admitted that previous delays in the bill’s adoption were caused by disagreement on the new asset type between local authorities. Aksakov, who is also chairman of National Banking Council at Russia’s central bank, reportedly elaborated that the central bank opposed legalization of crypto while the State Duma advocated some crypto initiatives.

However, the long-awaited law is being postponed for another reason now. As Russia shifts its focus to priority actions against the COVID-19 pandemic, all legislative processes have slowed down, Aksakov reportedly noted.The bill has seen a number of delays after first being introduced in January 2018.

Aksakov reportedly added that Russia’s upcoming crypto law will provide a definition of cryptocurrencies and prohibit the use of crypto as payment. Additionally, the law will include the issuance and circulation of digital assets, the official reportedly noted. However, in mid-March, a legal executive at Russia’s central bank said that the bill would ban the issuance and circulation of cryptocurrencies.

Aksakov also emphasized that the new law won’t hinder operation of crypto exchanges in case they won’t be violating it. The official also highlighted that the bill “On Digital Financial Assets” won’t include regulations regarding cryptocurrency mining. However, Aksakov expressed confidence that profits from crypto mining should be taxed, noting that crypto mining is a “type of business that produces value.”

Aksakov’s latest remarks about the new delay in adopting Russia’s upcoming crypto law comes subsequent to Russia recording its biggest one-day rise in coronavirus cases for the sixth day in a row. As reported by Reuters, Moscow’s authorities have already ordered residents to self-isolate, while the nationwide lockdown is being considered.

On March 24, the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation reportedly released a draft law that would allow the testing of cryptocurrency and blockchain developments within a special regulatory sandbox.

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