Russia is close to finalising a bill on cryptocurrency regulations with plans to legalise the use of crypto as a medium of payment in the country, according to multiple sources.
The development comes as western sanctions continue to target Russia’s financial system over its military invasion of Ukraine.
The news was first reported by Russian daily Kommersant.
Russia’s Ministry of Finance has sealed the final outlook of the legislation, which also covers digital asset mining.
Under the bill, crypto will be recognised as a payment method that is “not a monetary unit of the Russian Federation.” It will be also validated as an investment in the country.
Furthermore, the bill is expected to set out a number of requirements for identification, accounting, and certification policies for crypto investors.
However, the bill considers cryptocurrencies that “do not have an obligated person”. This implies that while cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) will be legalised for payments while purchases with stablecoins like Tether are likely to be restricted in the country.
It is not clear which cryptocurrencies will be legalised under the draft bill.
The bill also outlines restrictions on who can register as an exchange operator or a digital trading platform operator in the country.
According to the bill, the exchange operators will be required to show RUR30m while digital trading platform operators will have a regulatory requirement of RUR100m.
Additionally, companies that operate in the crypto segment will be required to make regulatory filings and announcements under the new bill.
The bill also requires any foreign entity that wants to operate in Russia will have to set up a unit in the country.
Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for goods and services in the country.