Russian Investors to Pass Exams Before Buying Cryptocurrencies, Draft Law Suggests


A new Russian law may oblige potential crypto investors to take a test before being allowed to purchase digital assets over a certain limit. The authors are also hoping to regulate cryptocurrency mining and cut access to cheap energy for those who mint coins in their homes.

Bill to Bring ‘Tight Regulation’ to Crypto Industry, Strict Requirements for Investors

Russian lawmakers are working on a law to fill regulatory gaps in the crypto space. The legislation may introduce special exams for non-qualified investors who want to buy cryptocurrencies with a total annual value exceeding 600,000 rubles ($7,700). One of its sponsors, the Deputy Chair of the parliamentary Security and Anti-Corruption Committee Andrey Lugovoy, told the daily Izvestia that the new law is about “tight regulation” of the sector.

The bill is expected to hit the floor of the State Duma during the spring session of the lower house of parliament, the deputy noted. Before that, it will be discussed with relevant ministries, law enforcement agencies, and market players. Any amendments will be approved by a working group comprising members of the Duma and representatives of government institutions, including the Central Bank of Russia.

The monetary authority has been at loggerheads with other regulators over its hardline stance on cryptocurrencies. In a recently published consultation paper, the Bank of Russia proposed a wide-ranging ban on crypto-related activities such as issuing, trading, and mining which has failed to gain support from the executive and legislative powers in Moscow.

New Law to Regulate Crypto Mining and Exchange

Andrey Lugovoy also revealed that the upcoming law will attempt to regulate cryptocurrency mining which has been expanding in Russia, especially after the crackdown on the industry in China. Besides companies, ordinary people in energy-rich regions have found an additional income source, taking advantage of subsidized electricity with crypto farms running in basements and garages.

Electricity tariffs for these miners should be the same as those for businesses, the lawmaker told the publication, insisting that “garage mining” with cheap household power should be stopped. In late December, the federal government took a step in that direction by allowing regional authorities to raise electricity rates for residential areas when consumption exceeds a certain threshold.

The authors of the bill plan to clearly define which entities will be permitted to work with cryptocurrencies. These will include authorized banks, provided they obtain a special license, crypto exchanges, and other digital money exchangers. Foreign-based crypto trading platforms that want to operate in the Russian Federation will be subject to a “special” registration regime, Lugovoy remarked without elaborating further.

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What do you think about the crypto regulations discussed in the Russian parliament? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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