The President of Russia Vladimir Putin has signed the law “On digital of financial assets (CFA) and a digital currency.” It will come into force on January 1, 2021.
The law signed by the President is registered under the number 259-FZ. On July 22, the bill was adopted by the state Duma in the third reading, and on July 24, it was approved by the Federation Council. Recall that the law contains the concepts of digital currency and digital financial assets. According to the document, businesses will be able to issue regulated tokens on private blockchains. The issuance, accounting and circulation of CFA-based securities will be regulated by the Federal law of the Russian Federation “on the securities market” of 1996.
This law only partially regulates transactions with cryptocurrencies. The only thing that defines the CFA law is that cryptocurrencies cannot be considered a means of payment on the territory of Russia. This means that it is forbidden to pay with cryptocurrencies for goods and services in the country, as well as to spread information about accepting digital currency as payment. In addition, digital currencies in Russia have received legal status as property.
In some media, after the adoption of the law project by the state Duma, claims began to appear that it allegedly allows mining, buying, selling and exchanging cryptocurrencies. They do not correspond to reality, since the CFA law contains only definitions of terms, it does not contain articles on the regulation of decentralized cryptocurrencies. All these operations will be regulated by another law, which is being developed and may be adopted as early as the autumn session. In the meantime, all of them still remain in the “gray zone”, and in practice, miners and exchangers may face an “expanded” interpretation of the ban on the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
In the current version, the CFA law regulates exclusively the circulation of tokens on private blockchains issued by registered organizations. Russian banks and exchanges can become CFA exchange operators if they are included in the special register of digital financial asset exchange operators. This registry will be regulated by the Bank of Russia, which will also determine which tokens will only be available to qualified investors.
Last week, the Chairman of the state Duma Committee on the financial market, Anatoly Aksakov, said that Russian commodity companies will start producing their own stablecoins in the first half of 2021.