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Russian Minister of Justice: Cryptocurrency Doesn’t Yet Need to Be Legally Defined

Cointelegraph By Helen Partz

The Ministry of Justice of Russia does not see the need to legally define the concept of cryptocurrency at this point, state-owned news agency TASS reported on Feb. 13.

Alexander Konovalov, the Minister of Justice of Russia, reportedly claimed that it is too early to formalize crypto-related legislation to date. Konovalov based his remarks on the fact that cryptocurrencies cannot be used as a payment method in the country, according to the Russian Constitution.

Both the constitution and current financial system  legislation in Russia “categorically prohibit” using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, Konovalov argued, citing article 75 of the country’s constitution.

Speaking at a meeting of the Federation Council — the upper house of the Federal Assembly of Russia — the Minister noted that cryptocurrency might be considered another type of asset in terms of Russian legislation, again urging legislators to avoid defining it at the current stage.

The Russian parliament passed the crypto bill “On Digital Financial Assets” in the first reading in May 2018. However, in the fall, all crypto- and token-related terminology had been replaced with the term “digital rights,” and the definition of crypto mining had also been cut from the bill.

The bill has been critically assessed by the crypto industry and was eventually sent back to the first reading stage in December 2018.

Recently, a chairman of the upper house of the Russian parliament called for urgent discussion of the draft on crypto regulation in the country, urging multiple Russian federal institutions to investigate the reasons for the significant delay in development of relevant legislation.

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