Russia to Halt Development of State-Owned Crypto Platform

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Several months ago, Russian policymakers started preparing a draft legislative amendment to introduce a state-run crypto exchange to increase the nation’s tax revenues. However, local news agency Izvestia said in the report on Monday that the lawmakers are dropping such plans and will instead focus on developing rules allowing companies to launch their crypto trading platforms.

Russia Working on Regulations to Enable Companies to Launch Crypto Trading Platforms

Russian lawmakers are scrapping plans to launch a state-owned crypto exchange – a government-announced project last year to boost the company’s tax revenue. Instead, the lawmakers want to create a regulatory framework allowing private companies to establish their crypto trading platforms, monitored by Russia’s central bank, according to local newspaper Izvestia.

Per the report, the private crypto exchanges will enable cross-border settlements and bypass some of the financial sanctions imposed by the West against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine last year. Rules for regulating these exchanges are expected to be established by the end of 2023 and outlined in a draft law, said Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets.

The U-turn comes after Russia’s Ministry of Finance opposed creating a state-level cryptocurrency exchange as it believes such assets should be regulated comprehensively. Russia’s plans to launch a national crypto trading platform were announced in November 2022, shortly after the FTX collapse. In this view, the country’s lawmakers were working on a draft amendment to the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which was expected to be introduced in Q2 2023, Aksakov told Izvestia.

Russia’s Stock Market Stages a Notable Rebound

Meanwhile, Russia’s stock market is also showing signs of recovery since getting battered following the West’s sanctions. On Monday, May 29, the Moscow Exchange index – which follows the performance of most liquid stocks in Russia – rose beyond 2,700 points for the first time since April 2022.

The index stood at $2,721 at press time, up 1.5%. Some of the biggest gains in stocks followed by the index were seen in VK, Lukoil, TCS Group, Globaltrans, and Polymetal.

The move marks a significant rebound for Russia’s stock market and broader financial system, which has come under severe pressure since the war in Ukraine began in February 2022. The country’s lawmakers have been trying to weather the impact of sanctions, including plans to roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Russia’s digital ruble was expected to be launched on April 1, but the central bank delayed those plans as it still awaits approval of a specific law.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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