In Russia, three draft laws on the future of cryptocurrencies are in the approval stage. Putin believes that the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia should not be banned but regulated.

The CEO of the cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), thinks that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the most influential person in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. This was stated before more than 500 people participating in a meetup held by the company, which focused on the opening to innovation, on October 21st, in Moscow.

Zhao believes that the draft law on the regulation of digital money, which is in the approval stage, can be adopted by the government of Russia in the near future.

The Binance CEO also noted that, in about fifteen days, the exchange would have support for Russian rubles. Zhao’s claim came a week after the euro-pound sterling pair was silently added to the Binance API.

All this has occurred without any progress on the official regulation in Russia, since the government seems to have delayed again the adoption of the country’s cryptocurrency law, as reported by local media.

However, it is not clear why Changpeng Zhao believes that Putin is the most influential character in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchains. What is true is that the Binance CEO did not delve into the details that would give an explanation to his reasoning. In order to clarify Zhao’s remark, it is a good idea to review some data on the plans that the Russian government has in regard to cryptocurrencies.

Russia in the Blockchains Ecosystem

Moscow has recently taken important steps toward the regulation of cryptocurrency space. The country, which is very dependent on energy exports and is affected by US sanctions, needs alternative sources of income. Therefore, it can afford to turn a blind eye to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies for too long.

In that context, draft laws have emerged in Russia on the future of cryptocurrencies and the regulation of related activities, which are currently in different stages of approval. On October 1st, the Law on Digital Rights, a new legal term whose scope can be interpreted to include cryptocurrencies, came into force.

Other norms of law could regulate the use of smart contracts, incorporating conditions for the automated execution of certain agreements. The Law on Digital Rights modifies the Civil Code of Russia to allow an information system to now execute contracts on its own, according to Russian media.

Another draft law that is related to cryptocurrencies has already passed the long legal process to become part of Russia’s current legislation. This is the Law on the attraction of investments through investment platforms, commonly known as the “Crowdfunding Law”. This law was signed by President Vladimir Putin in August, after the Russian State Duma approved it, and will enter into force on January 1st, 2020.

For these reasons, Russia can be considered to be a supporter of cryptocurrencies. Although its official adoption has not yet materialized, it is clear that it is preparing a new legal system that will allow the Russian government to better regulate the use of crypto assets.

Despite the popularity of cryptocurrencies in Russia, they have faced some conflicts. The country’s Central Bank, which was not previously open to accept cryptocurrencies, has recently changed its position. Russian politicians, including Vladimir Putin, believe that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin should not be banned but should be adopted within a set of regulations.

By Willmen Blanco


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