The Digital Financial Assets Bill (DFA), which is scheduled to be read for the second time in the Russian Parliament today, has withdrawn mentions to the administrative and unlawful obligation for bitcoin transactions. The third and ultimate reading will institute the draft as a law. According to the head of parliament’s financial markets committee, Anatoly Aksakov, while speaking to a domestic news outlet, Ria Novosti: “There will be no liability in this bill.”
Administrative and criminal liabilities withdrawn from DFA bill
Speaking to the media agency, Aksakov noted that the decriminalization of bitcoin investment had been set aside until further notice. He also said: “They have removed everything; there is only a link that the regulation of digital currency will be determined by another law.” The previous edition of the DFA bill intended to introduce financial penalties of up to $7,000 or face seven years in prison.
In addition, the bill suggested penalizing firms that issue or deal with cryptocurrencies without the authorization of the Russian central bank. The proposed financial penalties amounted to approximately $28,000 for violations of the Bitcoin Transactions Act if it is used as a means of payment for goods and services. Initially, the original bill proposed that firms would have to pay up to one million rubles ($13,900), while individuals would be fined at least 200,000 rubles ($2,800) for transactions in virtual assets to pay for goods and services.
Lawmakers planning “special law” to outlaw bitcoin transactions
Moving forward, Aksakov noted that the current draft bill, in its amended structure, now only concerns the challenges surrounding the definition of digital financial assets; and spells the standards for dealing with blockchain tech, among other issues. Besides, Aksakov, who is in charge of sponsoring the bill, anticipates the proposed law to be enacted on January 1, next year after adopting the second and third readings during the State Duma spring section that ends on July 23.
Legislators in Russia are also working on another “special law” on cryptocurrency policing, which may introduce strict penalties for dealing with bitcoin transactions. According to Aksakov, the law could be adopted during the autumn session, which ends in December. Digital currencies in the Russian Federation remain vague. The legality of ICOs, Smart Contracts and Crypto Mining lacks a clear definition despite the high number of proposals submitted to the legislature for this intention.