Russian lobby group launches new campaign against anti-crypto laws

A group of Russian lobbyists, led by law firm Digital Rights Center, has launched a new campaign against regulatory initiatives that they believe will hinder the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The group has established a platform to oppose the adoption of laws preventing the circulation of cryptocurrencies and digital assets in Russia, the Digital Rights Center said Tuesday. Other founding members of the initiative include the Commission on Blockchain Technology and Digital Economy, the all-Russian government organization Investment Russia and the non-profit organization RoscomSvoboda.

The campaign, titled Cryptocurrency Community Initiative in Russia, argues that the proposed regulation of e-currencies in Russia does not meet the needs of the market.

The new laws hinder the use of cryptocurrencies in Russia and slow down the development of the decentralized financial market, the advocacy group writes. The activists pointed out that existing laws and draft laws in Russia prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies in payments and also provide for heavy fines and imprisonment of up to three years for failure to declare cryptocurrencies.

The group also launched a public petition sent to key Russian regulators, including the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Development, the Bank of Russia, the Federal Tax Service and the Duma’s Financial Markets Committee.

The petition, available on the Change.org petition service, asks the authorities to reconsider their approach to regulating cryptocurrencies in the country. They also want to prevent the adoption of four separate regulatory initiatives for cryptocurrencies, including the new cryptocurrency tax law in Russia. The State Duma adopted the law on first reading in February 2021.

The new call comes after reports that Russia’s Federal Tax Service is planning to require citizens to inform authorities of their holdings of cryptocurrencies. The regulator plans to implement the requirement as part of the federal crypto currency tax code, according to a proposed letter to Data Economics, a local autonomous nonprofit.

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