Russia Moves Forward on Digital Ruble Legislation, Opens Door for Crypto Tax Payments

  • Sergey Maga
  • 11:06 May 13, 2023
Russia Moves Forward on Digital Ruble Legislation, Opens Door for Crypto Tax Payments

The second reading of the bill on the digital ruble will outline the mechanisms for buying and selling foreign digital currencies, according to Anatoly Aksakov, the chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets. Aksakov made this statement during the XI St. Petersburg International Legal Forum (SPILF). The bill will also establish the potential for tax payments using the digital ruble, reports Frank Media.

Russia is keenly focused on cross-border interactions with other digital currency platforms, keeping in mind interoperability. According to a representative of the regulator, the digital ruble platform was designed to potentially interoperate with similar foreign platforms. He further noted that it would be more challenging for countries imposing restrictions against Russia to track such mutual settlements.

While the Bank of Russia has not disclosed potential partners for setting up cross-border settlements in digital national currencies, it’s noteworthy that major trading partners like India and China have already initiated trials of such currencies. India has commenced testing digital rupees in major cities, and China has started paying some public sector workers with digital yuan.

The first reading of the bill on the digital ruble took place in mid-March, designating the Bank of Russia as the operator of the digital ruble platform and responsible for its uninterrupted functioning. The term “foreign currency” was also clarified to include national digital currencies issued by foreign regulators.

Amendments to the bill, including rules for buying foreign digital currencies, will be accepted until May 19. Aksakov emphasized that there would be no restrictions on account holders owning and using foreign digital currencies.

Some criticism has been leveled at the bill, particularly around the use of the term “digital purse”. Aksakov noted that it might be removed in the second reading. The definition of the digital ruble might also be refined in the document to elucidate its difference from the traditional paper ruble.

Testing of the digital ruble, initially planned to start on April 1, 2023, was postponed due to the unpreparedness of the legal framework. Elvira Nabiullina, the head of the Bank of Russia, anticipates that testing on real transactions with actual clients will commence shortly and likely conclude next year. Following a successful pilot, broader distribution of the digital ruble may begin.

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