Russia’s stance on cryptocurrency remains unclear after the country’s minister of justice announced earlier this week that there is no need to formalize cryptocurrency legislation. At the moment, the constitution does not allow the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.
Russian constitution recognizes Ruble as the only official currency
Alexander Konovalov, Russia’s Minister of Justice, said while speaking at the Federation Council, that the legislation on cryptocurrencies would not be formalized anytime soon. According to a report by the local media outlet, Tass, the Russian minister cited Article 75 of the Russian Constitution, stating that the official currency is Ruble, issued exclusively by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, and implying that the introduction of other currencies, including crypto, is against the Russian constitution and the current legislation of the financial system.
Mr. Konovalov further added that cryptocurrencies could only be considered as ‘other property’ in terms of legislation. He says it is not necessary to define the concept of cryptocurrency more clearly at the moment.
Legal status of crypto in Russia unclear
The legal status of cryptocurrency in Russia is unclear for some time now. A few weeks ago, the Russian Ministry of Economic Development was drafting a law to enable entities in the IT and blockchain sector carry out cryptocurrency transactions. This inspired hope within the crypto community, signaling that cryptocurrencies will soon gain legal clarity in the country.
However, the statement by the Minister of Justice weakened the hope for legal clarity in terms of cryptocurrencies. Last year, the lower house of Russia’s parliament postponed the second reading of a bill intended to regulate digital currencies in the country. In December, lawmakers revised another cryptocurrency bill, which allows ordinary citizens in Russia to invest up to 9,000 USD in ICOs.
The contrasting moves made by the Russian government over the past few months, continue to confuse the crypto community. At the moment, the only thing certain is that the Russian authorities are yet to decide on what to do with cryptocurrencies.
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