Russian Lawmakers – Failure to Regulate Crypto Hurting Russian Economy

Russian lawmakers have criticized Moscow over its “failure” to regulate the crypto sector, claiming that inaction harms the nation’s economy.

Per the media outlets Finam and Pravda, lawmakers spoke about the matter on March 13.

One MP blasted Moscow for failing to recognize tokens as a valid payment tool. And another called for a system of crypto declarations for public officials.

Russian Lawmakers Divided Over Issue of Crypto Regulation?

Artem Kiryanov, the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy, and the head of the Russian Union of Taxpayers, said it had become “necessary to pass a law” to “regulate the cryptocurrency sector.”

Artem Kiryanov, the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Economic Policy and the head of the Russian Union of Taxpayers. (Source: Vaily Kozhenov/Dzen)

Kiryanov was speaking at a media event that focused on the “financial status of Bitcoin in Russia,” and explained:

“Currently, a large part of the Russian black and ‘gray’ markets make use of cryptoassets. We must adopt a law that regulates the use of these cryptoassets.”

The lawmaker was critical of previous attempts to police the sector. He claimed that bills proposed in the State Duma “do not treat cryptocurrency as a means of payment.” Kiryanov added:

“In Russia, we do not allow for the idea that people can pay for goods and services with cryptocurrency.”

However, this week reports claimed that top Russian policymakers have admitted crypto regulation may not roll out until 2025.

Two years after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, many in Russia have reason to feel the wartime economy is working well for them in a setback for Western sanctions designed to pit the populace against Putin https://t.co/x70WAYV15X

— Bloomberg (@business) March 14, 2024

Citizens Confused by Crypto, CBDCs, MP Claims

Kiryanov added that many citizens were becoming unsure as to whether the Central Bank’s digital ruble is also a “cryptoasset.”

The Committee Deputy Chairman said that the Russian CBDC “cannot be compared with cryptocurrency, since these are different types of asset.” He concluded:

“Confusion has arisen on this matter.  It will continue to dog us for some time. Some think that we have cryptocurrency and a digital ruble, and that they are the same thing. They are not the same. The digital ruble is another aspect of the ruble.”

Crypto Declarations Could Build Trust, Says Lawmaker

Meanwhile, State Duma lawmaker and political pundit Anatoly Wasserman said politicians should consider creating a system for declaring crypto holdings and transfers.

Wasserman noted that cash payments raise suspicions about Russian lawmakers, and said that crypto declarations would be “the best way” to remove these.

And Wasserman explained that it was now easy to check bank-related payments, but said the same “cannot be said about cryptocurrency.”

The independent lawmaker for the Moscow Preobrazhensky Constituency said that politicians could create “a protocol for monitoring” crypto holdings.

Russia’s failure to police the crypto sector has already cost it a FATF compliance rating downgrade this year.

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