Russian President Vladmir Putin has offered his opinion on cryptocurrencies before, saying that cryptocurrencies pose “serious risks.” Now, after the Russian lower house of the Federal Assembly, the Duma, has revealed its intention to launch an oil-backed cryptocurrency, Putin has commanded authorities to create a specific regulatory framework for the nation.
The head of state issued a document to the Russian legislative body, ordering the passing regulation by July 1, 2019. This is yet another deadline from the Russian President, who last year asked for laws to be passed on the legality of cryptocurrencies. The specific order is for “federal laws aimed at the development of the digital economy.”
This time, the focus is on turning the Russian economy into a digital one, and the order asks for a regulatory framework for digital financial assets, more financial resources based on digital assets and the regulation of civil law digital settlements.
Russia’s stance on cryptocurrency has been ever so slightly ambiguous. 2018 first saw them take cryptocurrency seriously, with Putin even forming instructions on the trade of major crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum and the regulation of ICOs, which contrasted with a much harsher statement made in October of the same year:
Opportunities to launder funds acquired through criminal activites, tax evasion, even terrorism financing, as well as the spread of fraud schemes…We have seen how Bitcoin has transformed a payment unit into an asset, which is bought in order to obtain a high yield in a short period of time. This is the definition of a pyramid.
But different opinions have been offered by lawmakers in the nation. At the time when Bitcoin was legalized but mining was still being reviewed, deputy finance minister Aleksey Moiseev said:
The penalties will be different, mostly administrative, but if someone created the cryptocurrency for the purpose of settlements, then there will be a criminal punishment.
Rumors have also been floating about the launch of national cryptocurrency, dubbed the “CryptoRuble“, though no substantial information has materialized. With further regulation, however, the prospects of this national digital currency may just rise.