Monday, 27 February 2023

Lawmakers to Resubmit Russia’s Crypto Mining Bill, Introduce Liability for ‘Gray’ Miners

by Berkeley Lovelace

Lawmakers to Resubmit Russia’s Crypto Mining Bill, Introduce Liability for ‘Gray’ Miners

The draft law legalizing cryptocurrency mining will be resubmitted to Russian parliament which will postpone its adoption, one of its sponsors announced. Members of the lower house are also working on a separate bill that will introduce liability for those who mint digital coins illegally.

Adoption of Russian Crypto Mining Legislation Postponed Again

A bill designed to legalize the mining of cryptocurrencies, which was first filed with the State Duma in November, will be resubmitted to the lower house of Russian parliament after additional consultations, according to Anton Gorelkin, deputy chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Information Policy.

The lawmaker explained that the consideration of the regulations is a difficult process. “As a co-sponsor of the bill, I can confirm that it will be postponed. I hope that this year we will be able to implement it in some form,” Gorelkin elaborated, quoted by the crypto news outlet Forklog.

Russian parliamentarians and other officials have been mulling over how to regulate crypto-related operations for over a year. The law aims to recognize mining as a legitimate business activity and oblige involved entities and persons to report their income to tax authorities.

According to the draft provisions, miners will be able to sell the coins abroad or on platforms operating under special legal regimes in Russia. Despite demonstrating interest in the potential use of cryptocurrencies in international settlements amid sanctions, most government institutions in Moscow remain opposed to allowing crypto payments inside the country.

Russian Authorities Want to Introduce Liability for ‘Gray’ Crypto Miners

If approved in its current version, the legislation will also prohibit the advertising or other forms of promoting crypto assets to unlimited audience. Russian lawmakers already postponed its adoption once, in December. The initial plan was to vote on the law by the end of 2022.

Besides a profitable business, the extraction of cryptocurrencies has become a popular source of income for many ordinary Russians, especially in regions maintaining low, subsidized electricity rates. But this at-home mining has been blamed for breakdowns and fires, leading to a proposal to ban it in residential areas.

Last week, the head of the Financial Market Committee at the Duma, Anatoly Aksakov, revealed that lawmakers are now preparing another bill which introduces liability for so-called “gray miners” or those who steal electricity to mint or have illegally connected their hardware to the grid. The high-ranking deputy told RBC Crypto that both laws should be adopted simultaneously in the first half of the year.

Do you think Russia will adopt the new crypto mining legislation this year? Tell us in the comments section below.