Authorities in Russia are preparing a number of changes to existing laws in order to adopt rules for the country’s market for non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. A working group has discussed the matter and proposed solutions to legally define and regulate transactions with the digital collectibles.
Economy Ministry Takes Initiative to Regulate NFTs in Russia
The Ministry of Economic Development in Moscow is planning to put forward several amendments to the Civil Code and the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” to regulate the NFT market in the Russian Federation. The news comes from a meeting of a special working group held on the initiative of the ministry.
During the discussions, the participants provided legal definitions for the digital collectibles and drafted the necessary legislative changes, the crypto news outlet Bits.media reported on Tuesday. The meeting was attended by representatives of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) and Vkontakte, the leading Russian social media network which earlier this year announced intentions to introduce support for blockchain and NFTs on its platform.
Bank of Russia, known for its hardline stance on cryptocurrencies, insists that the Ministry of Economy should not deal with the issues related to the regulation of digital tokens. According to the monetary authority, these fall under its competence and that of the Finance Ministry. The regulator opposes the legalization of the circulation of cryptos like bitcoin in Russia and their use for payments.
The report adds that for now the industry is waiting to see how the situation develops from here. Andrey Tugarin, managing partner at GMT Legal, shared his opinion that an incorrect definition of digital collectibles in the Russian legislation could significantly narrow the scope of their application.
“The functionality of NFTs is not limited to digital art for a long time. They can act as tickets to events or as a form of securing ownership of virtual property, and as a security,” he pointed out.
Russian officials want to expand the country’s regulatory framework for both cryptocurrencies and tokens, currently consisting mainly of the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which went into force in January 2021. It introduced the terms digital financial assets, which partially covers cryptocurrencies, and digital rights, or tokens.
A bill tailored to determine the legal status of NFTs was submitted to the State Duma in May. Russian lawmakers are expected to also review a new draft law “On Digital Currency” during the fall session of the lower house of parliament.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.
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