Russian parliament reviews key digital assets legislation



  • Russian parliament nears approval of a law to use digital financial assets in international trade.
  • Amendments aim to integrate digital assets into Russia’s trade contracts and transactions.
  • The legislation distinguishes between regulated digital assets and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

The Russian parliament is on the verge of approving a pivotal piece of legislation that could transform how Russian firms engage in international trade. This legislation focused on utilizing “digital financial assets” (DFAs) in cross-border transactions, marking a strategic pivot in Russia’s approach to digital currency and its application in the global economic arena. The State Duma Committee on Financial Markets has recently endorsed amendments to the draft law, setting the stage for further parliamentary scrutiny and potential enactment.

Russia proposes law for digital finance in trade

The draft law, which has already navigated through its first reading in the lower house of the Russian parliament, is poised for a second reading. This procedural step is crucial for the bill’s progression to the Senate for final approval. The amendments introduced on February 21 aim to facilitate using digital assets in foreign trade activities between Russian residents and their international counterparts. Specifically, the legislation seeks to enable traders to incorporate these digital assets into contracts and transactions, thereby broadening the scope of digital finance in Russia’s international trade practices.

The terminology used in the legislation, particularly “digital financial assets” and “digital assets,” encompasses various digital currencies and financial instruments. This includes everything from central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) like the digital ruble to regulated bank-issued stablecoins, digital securities, and commodities. The distinction between these regulated forms of digital assets and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) is made clear, with the latter categorized as “cryptocurrencies” or “private cryptocurrencies.”

Implications for international trade and sanctions

The push for the rapid advancement of this bill, as articulated by Committee Chairman Anatoly Aksakov, underscores the Russian government’s intent to leverage digital assets to enhance the efficiency and resilience of its international trade operations. By facilitating the use of digital assets in transactions with “friendly countries,” Russia aims to mitigate the adverse effects of Western sanctions on its economy. These sanctions have been intensified by the USA, EU, UK, and other nations in response to ongoing conflicts, prompting Russia to seek alternative mechanisms for sustaining its international trade.

The draft law’s emphasis on digital assets, including the prospect of a digital ruble, reflects Moscow’s broader strategy to reduce its reliance on dollar-denominated trade. This strategy aligns with the digital currency initiatives of key Russian allies such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, with Russia indicating that its digital ruble could be compatible with China’s digital yuan. Such developments signal a concerted effort among these nations to establish a more autonomous and sanctions-resistant financial ecosystem.

However, experts caution against overestimating the immediate impact of this legislation. Maria Telegina of the Moscow Digital School points out the technological and regulatory challenges that could impede the seamless integration of digital assets into international payment systems. Moreover, the legislation’s current framework does not address the use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for international payments, highlighting a gap in the regulatory approach to the broader spectrum of digital currencies.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Mutuma Maxwell

Maxwell especially enjoys penning pieces about blockchain and cryptocurrency. He started his venture into blogging in 2020, later focusing on the world of cryptocurrencies. His life's work is to introduce the concept of decentralization to people worldwide.

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