Russia is preparing its regulation on digital financial assets

Иван Ермохин Иван Ермохин Expert of Center Russia-OECD published Investments · Digital economy
Russia is preparing its regulation on digital financial assets

Today, the State Duma has differed consideration of the bill on "Digital Financial Assets" (DFA) that has been postponed again in its second reading, for April 2019. The legislator did not explain the reason for the postponement of the term of consideration of the bill, which was supposed to be held this week.

It should be mentioned that the bill on the DFA was adopted in the first reading in May last year. By the second reading, the bill on "Digital Financial Assets" has been significantly revised; in particular, its provisions on the concepts of token, cryptocurrency, smart contract were excluded from it. The current version of the draft law applies to the issue of digital financial assets that provides liability and other rights, including monetary claims and transfer rights of issue-grade securities, rights to participate in the capital of the company, etc. Thus, the bill does not extend its regulation to product tokens that provide the right to use the company's products.

The bill notes that the Bank of Russia has the right to determine the characteristics of digital financial assets, the acquisition of which by a person who is not a qualified investor may be limited by the amount of his investment.

The issue of digital financial assets can be carried out only on the platform of the information system operator, such operator can be a legal entity whose personal law is the Russian law entered in the register of the Bank of Russia. The turnover of those assets may take place on platforms such as credit institutions and trade organizers.

It should be noted that the practice of regulating tokens that falls under the definition of securities or financial instruments is also used in the OECD countries. Moreover, in some OECD countries, there are requirements on the licensing of the exchanges of crypto-currencies and tokens. Meanwhile, the introduction of the concept of "information system operator" into the legislation is a rather unique practice, which is currently not reflected in the legislation of other OECD countries.

Translation by Boryana Kiskinova