Russia’s Ministry of Communications will introduce accreditation for companies that would be allowed to sell ICO tokens. Nikolay Nikoforov, Russia’s Minister of Communications said that tokens should be only issued by “accredited organizations”. It should not be an “amateurs’ activity of an unlimited number of people”.
Nikoforov told to RBC TV that :
“This is a digital good, which could be bought and sold. We need to determine a certain set of criteria and rules that would enable to do this with Russian roubles, in a Russian jurisdiction,”
“Cryptocurrencies should not be confused with Blockchain, which has a great potential to change the way governments work”
, he said. Yet the minister noted that legal blockchains should be based on cryptography technologies that are made in Russia. “We don’t want to build such important domestic systems on foreign algorithms,”
In January, the Russian Ministry of Finance has published a draft bill that proposes to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Any coins or tokens would be considered “digital financial assets”, but would not be deemed legal payment in Russia.
Trading cryptocurrencies would be legal, but would only be allowed for licensed brokers, dealers, and exchanges. Meanwhile, mining cryptocurrencies would be viewed as a regular business.
The cryptocurrency bill also limits the maximum ICO contribution by Russian citizens to 50,000 RUB or about $900. Fundraising would be initially limited to 1 billion RUB or $17 million. Regular securities in Russia do not require mandatory registration if the issuance is under 200 million RUB or $3.4 million.
Russia’s Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov said that the draft bill is only a “framework” and it is important to “further develop the regulatory theme”. The draft bill should not be viewed as a definitive view on regulating digital technologies, he said.
Russia’s Ministry of Finance previously said that that cryptocurrencies have gained a wide recognition and legally limiting this activity would be damaging. And outright ban would create conditions for using cryptocurrencies in illegal business, money laundering, and terrorist financing.
Currently, cryptocurrencies are not regulated in Russia. This allowed the country’s crypto community to flourish. A lot of ICOs have Russian-speaking founders and Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum, frequently travels to his former homeland.