A discussion dedicated to the law “On digital financial assets” was held at the FINAM Mitap. Representatives of the Association of Forex Dealers and a lawyer discussed how cryptocurrency and digital payments are now regulated in Russia and what a crypto investor should do in order not to be seen as a violator.
The turnover of digital rights, the turnover of digital financial assets, digital currency are regulated today in the Russian Federation by several laws, general – generic – concepts are regulated by the Civil Code, when making decisions on the use of such assets, it is necessary to say that there is a comprehensive legal regulation of this base. At the same time, special provisions of federal laws on digital financial assets and on crowdfunding have a priority position in the formulations “digital financial currency” and “digital financial asset”. The law came into force on January 1, 2021.
“The most regulated element of the law is a digital financial asset. As for digital currency, in my opinion, today the regulation remains superficial,” says Dmitry Demidov, lawyer, member of the St. Petersburg Bar Association, Ph.D.
“Honestly, the legislator tried to confuse the whole story and we will have to unravel it for a very long time, as it will be implemented in practice,” the expert summed up.
The legislator is quite serious about regulating violations of laws, offering not only administrative liability (fines, disqualification) for tax evasion, illegal release of digital financial assets and transactions, but also criminal liability. The draft sanctions are currently being developed by the Ministry of Finance.
According to Evgeny Masharov, head of the Association of Forex Dealers, one of the important points is whether the record on digital financial assets is canceled if the owner of these assets becomes the person who issued them, but did not provide for the decision to issue digital financial assets. The expert foresees that the participants of the digital financial assets market will face a lot of litigation. “So far, we have only one court decision, which included the cryptocurrency in the bankruptcy estate in bankruptcy, and that, this was proved during the consideration of the decision in the second instance,” Masharov said.
The expert explained that the encumbrance or limitation of the right to dispose of digital financial assets arises from the moment they are recorded in the information system. The owner of digital financial assets must meet several criteria: this person is included in the register of users of the information system (IS), the person has access to IP and has a unique code, only a qualified investor can have digital financial assets, only a legal entity or an individual entrepreneur can issue digital financial assets …
Pavel Karyagin, head of the working group of the Association of Forex Dealers, considers the law on digital assets to be a breakthrough one, because it introduces the concept of a distributed ledger. “This concept has been introduced and now everything that begins with the word crypto is in a sense legalized,” the expert believes.
In terms of digital financial assets, the law provides detailed explanations, but in terms of digital currency, we can only talk about shortcomings.
According to Karyagin, the law does not allow the issuance of Russian digital currency, because if it is intended for payments, then it will violate the ban on payments, and if it is not intended for payments, then it cannot act as a currency by definition. At the same time, foreign cryptocurrencies fit this definition, and thus the legal structure that exists at the present time, most likely, “legalizes” “exchangers”, that is, operators for the circulation of digital currencies on the territory of the Russian Federation using Russian domain names and equipment, but does not allow issuers to this process. If the owner of this digital currency cannot pay with it on the territory of Russia, then the only purpose for which he can own it is investment or speculation.
“The structure that the legislator offers us on the territory of Russia is the organization of some operators to exchange rubles for digital currency for the purpose of speculation or investment, the reverse exchange for the ruble and the corresponding taxation, is approximately the same as for all operations related to investment or speculation, “said Pavel Karyagin. The part concerning the taxation of “numbers” should be described by a change in the Tax Code, the expert added.