A senior Russian politician, Anton Tkachev, the Deputy Head of the State Duma’s Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies, and Communications, revealed that Russian lawmakers are considering a ban on private citizens engaging in cryptocurrency mining. However, they plan to permit industrial miners to continue their operations.
According to Tkachev, the prevailing consensus among federal government bodies and the State Duma is to legalise mining exclusively for registered businesses, or legal entities, and prohibit individual involvement.
“Everything is pointing to the fact that mining will be legalized, but only for legal entities [registered businesses.] As such, according to the current thinking of the federal government bodies and the State Duma agree, individuals will not be able to do this.”
Tkachev also mentioned that the Centre of Economic Classifications, a national regulator overseeing economic activities, is preparing to introduce a new category for “industrial cryptocurrency mining.”
The Industrial Mining Association, Russia’s first industrial crypto-mining body, was established recently, aiming to evolve into a self-regulatory organization that will influence the industry’s trajectory.
“The association should soon develop into a self-regulatory organization that will be able to shape trends in the sector.”
The Russian crypto mining sector, long seeking legal recognition, has been bolstered by the emergence of major players like BitRiver. Additionally, oil and gas companies have harnessed their resources for crypto mining, including innovative collaborations between oil drillers and miners using associated gas to power mining rigs.
Some politicians are pushing for expedited mining legislation to enable taxation of industrial miners’ income.
Home-based cryptocurrency mining has thrived in Russia, capitalizing on the nation’s low energy costs and frigid climate. Many individuals utilise subsidized residential energy for their mining rigs, which has irked local power providers.
Tkachev acknowledged a noticeable surge in Russian interest in cryptocurrencies, with over 13 million wallets registered in the Russian Federation last year. He attributed this to international sanctions, asserting that the populace’s financial literacy and understanding of financial assets have increased.
However, while lawmakers aim to dissuade citizens from incorporating crypto into the domestic economy, Tkachev admitted that cryptocurrency’s role in facilitating Russian trade would likely persist. He pointed out that the Russian state and companies still face limitations in conducting cryptocurrency transactions but suggested these restrictions might ease in the near future.
“The [Russian] state cannot officially carry out transactions in cryptocurrency yet. And Russian companies, trading with colleagues from other countries, unfortunately, are also limited in their capacities to [use crypto]. But, I think that this will change by the end of this year and the first half of next year.”
Tkachev anticipated that the adoption of cryptocurrencies in state transactions and trade activities would increase, with state-run entities potentially leading international transactions using cryptocurrency or the digital ruble. However, the complete integration of cryptocurrency into the Russian economy may take some time, extending beyond the end of the current year and into the first half of the next.