General context

The statutory regulation of cryptocurrency in Russia is yet to be made compatible with the current dynamics of digital assets.

In 2014 the Central Bank of Russia warned potential users about the absence of legislative control over virtual currency. The Central Bank stressed the fact that transactions with cryptocurrency are based on speculative premises and thus involve a substantial risk of depreciation and financial losses. It was also mentioned that due to the anonymity of cryptocurrency issuance, users may become unintentionally involved in illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorism financing.

This position was later supported by the Bank in 2017 when, despite admitting the increasing interest in cryptocurrencies in Russia, it was pointed out that the circulation and the usage of cryptocurrencies as well as any financial instruments nominated or associated therewith poses legal and technological risks.

In 2018 the president of Russia instructed the government to determine the definition and status of cryptocurrency, as well as to introduce relevant registry and taxation systems. As a result of the said orders, on 20 March 2018 a draft Law on Digital Financial Assets was introduced to the State Duma. It contains regulations of the mining process, defines the pecuniary status of cryptocurrency, crypto wallets and tokens. So far the draft is still being negotiated in parliament. 

Russia’s bankruptcy law (the Law) has been amended to expand the list of persons who may be held vicariously liable for a bankrupt’s debts and clarify the grounds for such liability.

Definition of controlling person clarified

Under the new rules, in addition to the CEO, other top managers, including the CFO, COO and accountants, as well as liquidators and other persons who controlled or had significant influence over the bankrupt’s actions by kin or position, or could force the bankrupt to enter into unprofitable transactions, may be made vicariously liable for a bankrupt company’s debts.