Yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law amendment preventing the use of digital financial assets as a means of payment for goods and services. The amended law reaffirms the ruble’s place as the only financially accepted currency within the Russian Federation, and forbids the use of digital assets and rights as “money surrogates”.
According to the newly amended law, financial assets may now be directly acquired by the Russian state without the involvement or consent of the exchange, and securities backing digital assets may also be legally terminated without notice to asset holders. Compliance will also be ensured by holding exchange operators and businesses liable for any violation.
As published on the Russian parliament website, the new law reads: “It is prohibited to transfer or accept digital financial assets as a consideration for transferred goods, performed works, rendered services, as well as in any other way that allows one to assume payment for goods (works, services) by a digital financial asset, except as otherwise provided by federal laws.”
Submitted by Anatoly Aksakov, a member of the Russian State Duma, on June 7, the amended law is an expansion of the existing crypto ban, which has been active since January 2021. In January, the Bank of Russia proposed an outright ban on crypto, and in February, Russia’s Finance Ministry submitted a draft of cryptocurrency regulations to the government which similarly allowed for investing in digital assets but without using them to buy goods and services.
Since its invasion of Ukraine, big crypto companies such as Binance and Coinbase have said that they will comply with U.S. and E.U. laws on limiting Russians from using exchanges. The Russian Central Bank, however, is still considering using cryptocurrencies for international payments within the context of global trade.
If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.