Until the end of July, Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the State Duma committee on the financial market, promised the adoption of four bills regulating cryptocurrency mining. Among them: mining, experimental legal regimes, taxation of this activity and liability for those who conduct it illegally.
The industry is actively developing in Russia. At SPIEF-2023, the Ministry of Finance estimated the volume of cryptocurrency production in the Russian Federation at 100 billion rubles a year. According to BitRiver data, in the spring of 2023, our country ranked second in the world in terms of this activity.
Positive dynamics became possible after the introduction of restrictive measures in Kazakhstan, where they were needed to preserve the energy infrastructure. We don’t have special restrictions yet, so people are willing to master the market. Especially in regions where there is access to cheap electricity – in the Irkutsk and Sverdlovsk regions, the Krasnoyarsk Territory.
The main bill, announced by Anatoly Aksakov, amends the law on digital financial assets (DFA). First of all, it is proposed to introduce and legitimize new concepts. Define mining itself (“the activity of performing mathematical calculations”), as well as mining pools (“combining the capacities of several computing devices belonging to different owners”).
Article 14.1 proposes to directly regulate the mining of cryptocurrencies. In it, the government is empowered to establish requirements for this activity.
The same article will require miners to provide information about receiving digital currency and the address of their wallet where it goes. At the same time, they will be allowed to alienate (sell) the mined digital currency, provided that when making transactions with it, objects of the Russian information infrastructure will not be used (with the exception of transactions in experimental legal regimes).
The work of legislators is moving slowly . They have to reconcile many conflicting positions. The view of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation on cryptocurrencies, although gradually warming, still remains extremely negative. Let me remind you that earlier one of the versions of the draft law on CFA contained, at the suggestion of the Bank of Russia, a complete ban on the ownership of cryptocurrencies and its circulation in the country. The regulator expressed a similar position in its last year profile report.
The Ministry of Finance is more loyal. The agency pins hopes on the cryptocurrency to replenish the budget.
Miners, in turn, need guarantees of the legitimacy and legality of their activities in the long term.
The final document may not be the embodiment of all the secret desires of digital currency miners, but at least it will bring some certainty. This is a resource-intensive occupation: you need to purchase expensive equipment, find a suitable room, and pay for electricity. Requires a lot of investment to get started. And investors most of all dislike uncertainty.
Creating a legal framework for mining that suits everyone is not an easy task. I think this explains the rather lengthy work on the bill. The Bank of Russia wants to see guarantees of the security of the national financial system there, in connection with which the bill contains a ban on the sale of cryptocurrency mined in the Russian Federation using Russian information infrastructure facilities.
But, apparently, the regulator is so afraid of its penetration into the financial system that this prohibition seems to him not enough. And until it receives conditions that satisfy it, special legislation on mining is unlikely to be adopted.
At the same time, the development of the industry not only attracts foreign finance to the Russian economy, but also creates new jobs – engineers , system administrators, programmers and even lawyers. In addition, the equipment involved requires maintenance.
Let’s hope that the legislators will be able to find a compromise, and the changes being developed will benefit domestic mining. And most importantly, they will create favorable legal conditions for the development of this industry in addition to energy ones.
The author is an expert of the Blockchain Lawyer program of the Moscow Digital School educational platform (part of Ultimate Education)
The position of the editors may not coincide with the opinion of the author