Russia’s cryptocurrency mining bill, which would legalize crypto mining and the sale of mined crypto, could be approved by January, according to a report by local news agency Tass on Dec. 23.
The bill was introduced in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, on Nov. 17, 2022. At the time, Anatoly Aksakov, Chairman of the Financial Market Committee of the State Duma, expected the bill to pass all three parliamentary readings in December.
According to Aksakov, the passing of the bill was delayed since critics believe that the bill could create a gateway for capital flight from Russia.
“…according to the critics of the bill, it could create channels for capital flight from our country. Ostensibly, it will be the activity of buying cryptocurrency, but in fact, the main objective will be capital flight from our country. “
Aksakov admitted that the concerns regarding capital flight risks are legitimate and he will work with the critics to revise the bill.
Russia’s crypto mining bill, if passed into law, would enable Russians to legally mine cryptocurrency. Additionally, the bill would permit Russian miners to sell their mined cryptocurrencies on foreign platforms.
According to an Interfax report on Nov. 18, the law would also allow Russian miners to sell mined crypto within the country under an “experimental legal regime.” Cryptocurrency payments were banned in the country in July.
It is to be noted, that earlier this month, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation said that it conceptually supports the bill. However, the monetary authority is against allowing Russians to sell mined crypto within the country, Interfax noted in a report on Dec. 7. According to the central bank, miners should be permitted to sell mined crypto only on foreign exchanges and to non-residents.
Despite the delay, Aksakov is optimistic that the mining bill could be revised to sufficiently address the concerns of critics and that it will be ready for approval in January 2023. However, he noted that if an agreement is not reached with the critics by next month, the passing of the bill could be postponed further.
In September, Russia created a draft framework to allow the use of cryptocurrencies for cross-border transactions. On Dec. 19, TASS reported that the Russian central bank plans to test the use of crypto to settle international transactions within the regulatory sandbox framework.