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Business ombudsman notes Finance Ministry’s proposals on cryptocurrency excessively strict

On January 25, the Finance Ministry has published the draft law "On Digital Financial Assets" regulating its issue and turnover

MOSCOW, January 26. /TASS/. Business Ombudsman and presidential candidate Boris Titov considers the requirements of the draft law on regulating digital financial technologies submitted by the Ministry of Finance on January 25 to be excessively strict, the ombudsman’s press service said on Friday.

"The Finance Ministry’s proposals present a much tougher regulation than in Japan, Switzerland, Belarus, Armenia. That is, in all countries that have adopted some form of legislation. It would be better not to adopt anything than to adopt such legislation," Titov said according to his press service.

"Blockchain allows people, entrepreneurs, and the technological community to control officials, which they do not like, of course," Titov said.

On January 25, the Finance Ministry has published the draft law "On Digital Financial Assets" regulating its issue and turnover. The document, in particular, defines tokens, establishes the procedure for conducting ICO (Initial Coin Offering), and also determines the legal regime for cryptocurrencies and mining. The latter are the subject of disagreements between the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank. However, the authors of the draft law are confident that including cryptocurrencies in the legal regulation of digital assets will reduce the risks of law violation and increase transparency of the tax regime, which will lead to an increase in tax revenues to the Russian budget.

In general, according to the Finance Ministry, legislative ban of transactions with cryptocurrencies would lead to conditions for the use of such currency by grey business and legalization of revenues obtained by illegal means.

However, the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment facility in the territory of the Russian Federation was not in the bill, the Finance Ministry said, noting that it is currently completing the draft law, which will finally establish the concept of "money surrogates" in the legislation and establish responsibility for their use as a means of payment. The draft law is in the final stages of development.

The Finance Ministry suggested allowing individuals to make deals using cryptocurrencies only on stock exchanges. Unqualified investors will be able to buy tokens in the amount of not more than 50,000 rubles ($898) within a single issue.