Russian financial authorities have published a draft bill on cryptocurrencies, defining the main terms of the industry and limiting investments in ICOs, made by retail investors.

The Russian Ministry of Finance published a long-awaited draft bill on cryptocurrencies. The development of a 7-page document took at least two years.

The main postulates of the bill:

  • Cryptocurrency exchange operators should be registered as legal entities and comply with Russian federal laws "On the securities market" and "On organized trading activities."
  • Mining is an entrepreneurial activity. Thus the subject of such activity should be legally registered.
  • Cryptocurrency and token are types of digital financial assets.
  • A smart contract is equal to contract in electronic form.
  • Organizers of ICOs should disclose information about the beneficiaries, location of the issuer, its virtual currency accounts, and purses, and mention rights of token holders.
  • Retail investors are allowed to purchase tokens, but the amount is limited by 50,000 rubles ($900).
  • The bill allows to exchange cryptocurrencies and tokens for other cryptocurrencies, Russian rubles, and foreign currencies, but it is allowed to use for this purpose only Russian-registered exchanges.

In addition, the Ministry of Finance reported that it is developing another bill prohibiting payments in cryptocurrencies.

"This bill is aimed at protecting the constitutional status of rubble," the Ministry of Finance explained.

The new draft law will define the term "money surrogates", and also determine penalties for the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment.

Crypto-enthusiasts note that the published bill gives quite vague definitions and does not specify taxation principles or list crypto-exchange platforms where it will be possible to legally exchange cryptocurrencies for fiat money. According to Russian financial authorities, the Finance Ministry stands for allowing cryptocurrencies to be exchanged in rubles and foreign currency, while the Central Bank is against it.