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Russian parliament introduces bill to ban use of digital assets as payment

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The State Duma, Russia’s lower house of parliament, is set to consider banning the use of digital assets as a method of payment. A new bill introduced by the head of the House Financial Markets Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, proposes to clarify that only the Russian ruble is a unit of payment in the country.

The draft federal bill also stipulates that electronic payments platforms that deal in digital assets should prohibit transactions from being completed in “digital financial assets” (DFAs). It references Federal Law No. 161-FZ on “National Payment Systems” to justify the directive.

The bill is titled “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation in Regulating the Circulation of Digital Financial Assets and Utilitarian Digital Rights.” In his explanatory note to the parliament, Aksakov explains that the bill aims to curb the use of DFAs as a financial surrogate for the ruble. The note stated:

“The draft law introduces changes aimed at eliminating the indicated risks of using DFA and DCP as a monetary surrogate by establishing a direct ban on the transfer or acceptance of DFA and DCP as a counter provision for goods transferred, work performed, services rendered, as well as another method that allows assuming payment CFA of goods (works, services).”

He added that the bill would help make digital assets more attractive as an investment vehicle. This gives other bills making progress in the house, including the bill “On Digital Currency” and “On Mining in the Russian Federation,” more effectiveness.

Notably, the bill was introduced after the Russian Minister for Industry and Trade Minister, Denis Manturov, said he believes that digital assets will be legalized for use as a method of payment “sooner or later.”

Russia is still keen on adopting digital assets

Before Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, the country was divided over its digital assets stance, with a lot of opposition from the central bank. But circumstances have largely changed, and Russia has been on course to introduce broad regulations for digital assets and block reward mining.

The “On Digital Currency” bill, which will define the regulatory framework for digital currency in general, has passed several readings as it progresses toward passage into law. Similarly, the bill “On Mining in the Russian Federation,” which should set the guidelines for block reward miners, has also seen several amendments.

Russia is also developing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) at full speed. The CBDC is poised for a pilot launch early next year, as the central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina recently announced.

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New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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