Russia intends to launch a ‘national crypto exchange’

Russian lawmakers are working on amendments to launch a national crypto exchange. This effort is reportedly backed by both the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Russia, which have a long history of disagreement over crypto regulation in the country.

As local media reported on Nov. 23, members of the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament, the State Duma, have been discussing changes to the country’s existing cryptocurrency law “On Digital Financial Assets” with market participants. The amendments, which would establish a legal framework for a national exchange, will first be submitted to the central bank.

Sergey Altuhov, a member of Duma’s Economic Policy Committee, stressed the fiscal sensitivity of such measures:

“It makes no sense to deny the existence of cryptocurrencies, the problem is that they circulate in a large stream outside of state regulation. This is billions of tax rubles in lost tax revenue for the federal budget.”

In June, Anatoly Aksakov, head of Duma’s Financial Markets Committee, suggested that a national crypto exchange could be launched in Russia as part of the Moscow Exchange, “a respectable organization with long traditions.” In September, the Moscow Exchange drafted a bill on behalf of the central bank to allow trading in digital financial assets.

Related: The report from the Russian central bank examines the place of crypto in the financial system

Earlier this month, a bill was introduced to Duma that would legalize cryptocurrency mining and sale of the mined cryptocurrency. The bill would create a Russian platform for selling cryptocurrencies, but local miners will also be able to use foreign platforms. In the latter case, Russian currency controls and regulations would not apply to transactions, but would have to be reported to the Russian tax authorities.