Digital Currencies To Be Permitted In Russia From 1st January 2021

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Digital financial assets, including cryptocurrencies, will be permitted to сirculate legally in Russia from 1st January 2021, but not bitcoin, or other variants.

The law signed by President Vladimir Putin last Friday recognizes the existence of bitcoin, tokens and other digital assets. However, it does not remove restrictions to allow individuals to use cryptocurrency as a legal tender.

The law does not give cryptocurrencies the same rights that the ruble or any other fiat currency have. After the new law comes into force, only financial organizations authorized by the Russian Central Bank, as well as Russian stock exchanges, will be able to make authorizations.

Still, the new law reiterates that no punishment for operations with bitcoin is envisaged.

“Cryptocurrency is described by lawmakers as a means of payment and a means of saving, as an investment, but it can’t be used to pay for goods and services in Russia,” Anatoly Aksakov, head of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market, stated.

The bill was passed by the State Duma, the Russian Parliament’s lower chamber, last month. Aksakov said at the time that starting in 2021, some large Russian companies planned to issue their own tokens.

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm has 28 offices throughout Eurasia, including China, Russia, India, and the ASEAN nations, assisting foreign investors into the Eurasian region. Please contact Maria Kotova at russia@dezshira.com for Russian investment advisory or assistance with market intelligence, legal, tax and compliance issues throughout Asia.

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