“Russia has done ‘absolutely nothing’ to regulate crypto,” RACIB head

“Russia has done ‘absolutely nothing’ to regulate crypto,” RACIB head


According to a Russian crypto industry advocate, not much has been done yet since January 2021, when Russia adopted its first cryptocurrency law.


Head of the Russian Association of Cryptoeconomics, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain (RACIB), Yury Pripachkin, has recently argued that the Russian crypto markets are largely “unregulated” and marked by “a lot of uncertainty”.


Pripachkin called the existing Russian crypto regulations nothing more than “half-measures” that actually have “nothing to do with systematic solutions.”


In an interview with RBC, a local newswire, Pripachkin has said that the Russian President Vladimir Putin has been issuing multiple consecutive mandates for the adoption of crypto regulation over the past four years. He highlighted that the total market capitalization of crypto in Russian markets has surged from around $200 billion in 2017 to $2.7 trillion in 2021. Still, local lawmakers have essentially made no steps towards capturing its value.


Yuri Pripachkin said that although the Russian crypto market accounts for 10 per cent of the global cryptocurrencies market, the country has “done absolutely nothing to regulate the local cryptocurrency market.”


He further added that the size of the Russian crypto market at present is comparable to the annual federal budget revenue of $270 billion.


Pripachkin also claimed that Russia’s crypto law “On Digital Financial Assets” mainly provides a legal basis to crypto tokens in a very general, broad sense. Still, it doesn’t define major industry terms starting from smart contracts. The law also does not regulate activities like issuance, taxation or crypto mining in the country.


Russia’s Head of RACIB is not the only one to think that the country’s legal authorities have been pushing crypto regulations into a grey zone. Very recently, Counsel at the Debevoise & Plimpton international law firm, Anna Maximenko, also professed the belief that Russia’s legal framework on crypto is “limited to the definition of cryptocurrency” and other aspects like crypto payments ban.


Maximenko also said that the other aspects of crypto’s turnover, like requirements to investors and exchanges, “are currently not regulated.” 


According to the crypto expert Maximenko, the absence of cryptocurrency regulation leads to a situation where no crypto exchanges get registered in Russia, while the citizens are being compelled to avail services of foreign crypto exchanges like Huobi Global, Paxful, Binance and others.


Maximenko further said that if the Bank of Russia’s negative stance on cryptocurrencies is taken into consideration, then there wouldn’t be any Russian crypto exchanges. At the same time, foreign crypto exchanges would have to “stay in a grey zone.”


The news comes at a time when the Russian government is showing heightening interest in Bitcoins while some of its ministries are proposing to mine crypto with associated gas.


However, the Russian government is still sceptical of Bitcoin concerning the interest of Russian citizens in the latest being Bank of Russia’s proposal of limiting transactions to crypto exchanges when crypto investment is gaining extreme popularity among local investors.

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