Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has signed a bill banning payments with digital financial assets. Under the new law, exchange operators have to refuse to process transactions facilitating the use of digital financial assets.
The bill imposes direct restrictions on the use of digital financial assets (DFAs) as a means of payment inside Russia. It prohibits the transfer or acceptance of DFAs as consideration for transferred goods, performed works, bestowed services, and other ways that allow one to assume payment for goods by a DFA. Moreover, it obliges DFA exchange operators to decline transactions where it’s possible to use cryptocurrencies or the like as a monetary surrogate.
It should be noted that the ban can be lifted in cases provided by federal laws. The new law will come into effect 10 days after its official publication. Yuri Brisov, the founder of LFCS Legal Support, highlighted that since 2021, law 259-FZ in Russia has been in force. It regulates digital and financial assets. He outlined that Art. 14 of the law states that Russian legal entities and individuals cannot receive payment for goods, works, and services in digital currency. Brisov says cryptocurrency is also a digital currency. As such, it was impossible to make payments in Russia.
Well before Putin signed the new law, the Central Bank has prohibited it time and again. Transactions with cryptocurrency have never received legal protection in Russia. But the lawyer pointed out other forms of digital assets, such as NFTs, security tokens, and utility tokens. Brisov revealed that FZ banned payment only with payment tokens and left out the others. The lawmakers concluded that the existing ban wasn’t enough and needed to be specified.