Amid an intense debate regarding the regulation of cryptocurrencies, the Russian Ministry of Finance presented the government with a draft law with guidelines for the sector.
In a statement released on Monday, the ministry said the proposal aims to allow Russians to invest in assets such as BTC, but not yet make purchases with them.
Russian Ministry of Finance presents BTC regulation proposal
The use of digital currencies as a means of payment on the territory of the Russian Federation will continue to be prohibited. Under the proposed regulation, digital currencies are considered only as an investment vehicle.
The bill also defines requirements for service providers that can carry out activities with crypto assets. The requirements concern corporate governance, reporting, information storage, internal control and auditing, risk management system and own funds.
According to the ministry, a special register of operators will be created. Thus, the activities of such companies will be licensed and controlled by an authorized body determined by the Government.
In addition, foreign cryptocurrency exchanges will have to register in Russia to obtain a license. And operations with the purchase or sale of cryptocurrency will only be possible if the customer is identified.
The proposal also provides that cryptocurrency deposit/withdrawal will only be possible through banks using a bank account. Thus, customer identification will be performed by both operators and banks when opening a bank account.
Operators such as banks will be required to carry out compliance procedures and report identified suspicious transactions.
Knowledge tests for investors
Also according to the statement, exchanges will be required to inform citizens about the high risks associated with acquiring digital currencies, as a form of customer protection.
This, in turn, will have to undergo online tests before buying a cryptocurrency. The exam “will determine the level of knowledge about investing in digital currencies and awareness of potential risks”.
If “passed” in the tests, the investor will be able to invest in cryptocurrencies. However, you will only be able to apply 600 thousand rubles per year.
Those who fail will only be able to invest up to 50,000 rubles annually.
Meanwhile, qualified investors and legal entities are free to carry out transactions without restrictions.
With regard to exchanges, the project determines that they are required to separate the cryptocurrencies owned by them from the cryptocurrencies of the trading participants in the information system.
“The debt collection of the operator of the trading platform cannot be extended to the cryptocurrency of citizens and legal entities. Furthermore, for the security of customer funds for cryptocurrency exchanges, a nominal account mode is introduced, in which bidder funds will be located.”
Also, platforms will have to keep records with the addresses of each digital currency holder.
As for cryptocurrency mining, the proposal defines the activity as “focused on obtaining cryptocurrencies”. The text does not, however, provide additional details on the matter.
Finally, the proposal also provides for a mechanism for communicating the necessary information to the tax authorities.
As the ministry concluded, the proposed changes aim to create a legal market for cryptocurrencies with the establishment of rules for their circulation and for the participants.