Russia Poised to Let Miners Sell Coins Abroad as ‘Exports’

Banks of Bitcoin ASIC mining rigs in a warehouse.
Source: artiemedvedev/Adobe

Russian industrial miners may be given the right to sell cryptoassets as “export products,” the nation’s finance ministry said.

Per RBC, the country’s Deputy Minister of Finance Ivan Chebeskov made the comments at a round table event named “Cryptocurrency and the Future of Digital Finance.”

Chebeskov said that the ministry had prepared a bill that would allow miners to “export cryptocurrency as a product of mining activity.” He said:

“We have special legislation for the export of gas, for example. Using such examples, we developed a concept. This will allow miners to export the product of what they have mined – namely, cryptocurrency. It could become an export product. This legislative initiative is […] being created in Russia.”

Russian Crypto Sector Inching Toward Legalization?

Russian politicians have previously launched several attempts to legalize crypto mining. But progress has stalled on each occasion.

Part of the reason for this has been an impasse between government ministries including the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank.

The latter wants to enact a nationwide crypto ban, while the former favors a more progressive, pro-business approach to the sector.

But in recent months, the parties have indicated they are prepared to compromise on many crypto-related matters.

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Chebeskov said the ministry and the bank have found “common ground” on the matter of “recognizing cryptocurrency mining as an industry.”

He said that the bank was also happy to “allow for the possibility of settlements with cryptocurrencies in foreign economic activities.”

The bank, however, has stated that it wants to supervise crypto-powered transactions. It only wants to allow crypto payments in an “experimental sandbox.”

The Central Bank has also insisted that miners must sell their coins “exclusively on overseas platforms.”

The bank also insists that industrial miners sell their coins “only to non-residents of Russia.”

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This summer, Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the State Duma’s Committee on Financial Markets, said that a bill regulating the crypto mining industry could come into force in January 2024.

This timeframe now seems unlikely. But Chebeskov’s comments suggest that the ministry thinks its new bill has a good chance of succeeding where others failed.

In February, the ministry unveiled a bill calling for crypto regulation. But this bill was seemingly scuppered by the bank, which launched its own bill calling for a blanket ban.

Neither bill has been slated for a second reading in the Duma. This may indicate that lawmakers are ready to effectively shelve the bills indefinitely.

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