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Russian Duma creates working group to tackle crypto mining regulations

Some regulators feel that a lack of clear laws for the industry is helping crypto miners avoid paying taxes.

The Russian State Duma has created a working group that will tackle the complicated issue of forming regulations for the cryptocurrency mining industry.

According to an official announcement on Nov. 11, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin instructed the legislature to create a group that will address regulatory gaps in the industry.

The group was formed following a statement by Andrei Lugovoy, the First Deputy of the Representative Committee on Security and Anti-Corruption. 

Lugovoy — a member of the right-wing Liberal Democratic People’s Party — said Thursday that deputies have already written a draft bill which they will introduce in the Duma “without fail.”

The deputy said that the matter of Bitcoin (BTC) mining regulation has become unavoidable, claiming that crypto miners earn $2 billion per year in the country, supposedly at the expense of the population, on which the miners pay no taxes. Lugovoy added:

“Due to the lack of regulation on the production of cryptocurrency, law enforcement agencies generally fall into a dead end, since they cannot establish signs of a crime in individual activities and make the necessary procedural decisions.”

As noted by local business publication RBC, in September, Anatoly Aksakov — chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets — recommended that the Duma regulate crypto mining under the laws governing entrepreneurial activities. 

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Just earlier this week, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Energy voiced their support for Aksakov’s plans, while the central bank — the Bank of Russia — remains opposed on the grounds that it cannot support initiatives that would give birth to new “monetary surrogates.”

As earlier noted by Volodin, the issue of crypto mining in Russia has indeed become urgent, as miners relocate to the country from China. Russia, along with neighboring Kazakhstan, are now both among the top three countries by global hash rate on the Bitcoin network.

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