Putin Modifies Law to Expand Russia’s Ban on Crypto Payments

Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a measure expanding the country’s prohibition on cryptocurrency payments to include other token kinds.

Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian State Duma, presented the amendment on June 7; it prohibits the use of security tokens, utility tokens, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as payment for products and services in the nation.

According to the Russian media organisation RBC, group lawmakers determined that the present prohibition, which has been in effect since January 2021, was insufficient since it simply prohibited people and organisations from using “payment tokens.”

The updated legislation intends to prevent circumvention of current cryptocurrency payment prohibitions. Following the imposition of severe sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported in May that Russia’s central bank intended to permit the use of cryptocurrencies for international payments in the framework of global commerce.

Principal exchanges have adhered to US sanctions by suspending the accounts of sanctioned customers. Recent account closures by Binance included a number of people with familial links to senior Russian figures.

According to Reuters, Russia is also working on system enhancements to identify participants in blockchain transactions. Blockchains like Bitcoin record transactions on a visible, immutable ledger, but wallet holders’ identities are pseudonymous, making monitoring impossible.

While Moscow has been receptive to regulating digital assets, the Bank of Russia has previously proposed a complete ban on trade and mining, citing worries about financial stability. The central bank allegedly said in May that the danger posed by cryptocurrencies to the nation’s economy had diminished, as Russian banks had sufficient foreign money going ahead.

In any event, Putin’s new amendment shows that there are now no intentions to modify the country’s prohibitions on virtual currencies.

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