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Russian regulation for NFTs could arrive via proposed amendments to existing laws

The Ministry of Economic Development plans to introduce several amendments to the law “On Digital Financial Assets” and the Civil Code to enable them to regulate Russia’s NFT market.

The State Duma of Russia / Image by: Bernt Rostad/Flickr

Wed, 27 Jul 2022, 16:51 pm UTC

With the rising popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFT), various authorities worldwide are already making preparations to regulate the niche. For instance, NFT regulation in Russia could arrive by introducing changes to existing laws in the country to make them more suitable for the non-fungible token market.

The Ministry of Economic Development plans to introduce several amendments to the law “On Digital Financial Assets” and the Civil Code to enable them to regulate Russia’s NFT market, according to Bitcoin.com. Under the initiative of the ministry, a special working group held a meeting to discuss the matter, which came up with proposals on how to legally define and regulate NFT transactions.

Participants of this special working group, which includes representatives of the Central Bank of Russia and Vkontakte, drafted the needed legislative changes that will legally define digital collectibles and regulate their transactions. Vkontakte is the leading Russian social media network and has previously announced its plans to support NFTs on its platform.

The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is known for its anti-crypto stance. It opposed the legalization of the circulation of cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) in the country as well as their use as a payment method.

The CBR likewise expressed its opposition to the Ministry of Economy’s participation in issues related to crypto and digital assets regulation. According to the monetary authority, these matters should be handled only by itself and the Finance Ministry.

Andrey Tugarin, a managing partner at GMT Legal, explained the importance of properly defining digital collectibles. Incorrect definitions of digital collectibles under the proposed amendments could potentially narrow the scope of their applications and uses in the country.

“The functionality of NFTs is not limited to digital art for a long time,” Tugarin said. “They can act as tickets to events or as a form of securing ownership of virtual property, and as a security.”

In May, a bill that will determine the legal status of NFTs in Russia was submitted to the State Duma. Meanwhile, a new draft law “On Digital Currency” will be reviewed by Russian lawmakers in the fall session of the lower house of parliament.

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