Russia is currently working on a regulatory framework to legalize Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), local publications reported on Wednesday. This is in addition to a bill that is being finalized to recognize cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ether.
Amending Law to Recognize ICOs
Russian lawmakers are working on amendments to the civil law aimed at legalizing ICOs, according to Vedomosti, one of Russia’s largest newspapers. Discussion of the amendments has already begun by an interdepartmental working group under the State Duma, which has been assessing the risks of cryptocurrency use in the nation.
An associate criminal law professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Elina Sidorenko, heads the working group. “The group includes representatives from the Parliament, including the initiative’s originator Andrei Lugovoi. We also cooperate with other parliamentary committees,” she told Forklog in an interview published on Tuesday. “Aside from that, there are representatives from the central bank and the financial monitoring service.”
The Need to Regulate ICOs
According to Konstantin Vinogradov, Senior Associate at Runa Capital, there were more than 150 ICOs globally in the past year, which totaled more than $500 million.
Sidorenko explained that “legislative gaps exist which do not allow legal settlement of crowdfunding issues and ICO contracts,” according to Russian 360tv which also reported her saying:
The State Duma should undertake the development of legal mechanisms that would allow the verification of such contracts. They should also be designed to identify users and protect the rights of the holders of tokens to fulfill the obligations of issuing companies.