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Russia Prepares to Legalize Cryptocurrency Markets

Russian authorities are planning to pass new legislation that would effectively legalize cryptocurrency markets by summer 2018.

As revealed in a report by the Russian parliament’s official publication on March 1, Russian president Vladimir Putin has set a deadline on July 1 for relevant cryptocurrency legislation to be adopted in the country.

The report specifically points to two draft laws centered on blockchain technology that have been developed so far. Russia’s Ministry of Finance has put the spotlight on legal guidelines for the issuance of initial coin offerings (ICOs) while the country’s central bank has prepared a separate draft law on crowdfunding.

The report suggests that the two authorities have agreed upon the main regulatory moves on cryptocurrencies, save for one major contradiction when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country. In essence, the central bank isn’t keen on retail traders and investors participating in cryptocurrency trading.

Detailing the lack of consensus further, State Duma Committee for Financial Markets chairman Anatoly Aksakov explained:

“The central bank is against the legalization of this type of digital currency, since in this case, citizens can start actively investing in crypto-tools, not taking into account possible risks.”

A separate bill on digital assets – to be submitted to the Russian Parliament this month – will aim to establish governance rules surrounding cryptocurrency mining. Individual entrepreneurs will be allowed to enter mining pools established by legally recognized entities and “conduct activities to extract cryptocurrencies that do not fall under the criteria of industrial mining,” said Alexei Mostovshchikov, chair of the Expert Council of the Youth Parliament under the Russian Duma.

 Aksakov further stressed that both bills, from the central bank and the finance ministry, will be submitted to the chamber this month.

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