Russia will legalize cryptocurrency and ICOs within the next two weeks, but the country is saying “nyet” to Facebook’s Libra.
Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev says that the Russian Duma will pass legislation in the next few weeks giving a legal and regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.
Left out in the cold
However, Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency is getting the cold shoulder as it will not be legalized at all within the new legislation.
The chairman of the financial market committee of the lower chamber of the Duma, Anatoliy Aksakov, said, “In my opinion, Facebook coin won’t be legally adopted as means of payment on the territory of Russia.”
This follows in the footsteps of government officials from several nations expressing negative views towards the new cryptocurrency being pushed by Facebook.
The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing on the Libra crypto in July, while Representative Maxine Waters (D-California) has asked that development of Libra be stopped for the time being.
“I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” Waters said.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also came out against Libra, saying that the social media giant has to offer concrete guarantees for its cryptocurrency project in order to protect consumers.
Le Maire went on to say that the “ability to issue securities, build a reserve, and be a lender of last resort” belong to the state and not that of private enterprises, who are acting in their own interests and not that of the nation or the nation’s citizens.
As for Russia, Aksakov stated that there are no plans to legalize the active circulation of virtual currencies that are based on public blockchains.
In fact, he went on to say that the Russian government will limit or possibly forbid exchanges for trading such cryptocurrencies, all in an effort to prevent outside threats to the country’s financial system.
Russians can buy such cryptocurrencies but will have to do so from foreign exchanges, but Aksakov notes, “If someone wants to purchase these instruments from platforms that operate under foreign jurisdictions, they may do it at their own peril.”
Two laws being passed
Alexei Moiseev says the legislation concerning ICOs has already been approved by the Duma while the one featuring cryptocurrencies will be approved during a second reading in the next two weeks.
Once the Duma approves the legislation, it will be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin.
The cryptocurrency bill was held up due to the Russian Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requiring the Duma to expand the terminology contained within the legislation.