The Russian parliament Duma has voted on a new digital rights legislation to be enacted in October this year. The latest changes to the Russian civil codex went through the third and final Duma reading on Tuesday.

The law adds a new article, 141.1, of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation along with establishing the concept of “digital rights” in Russian legislation. It also determines the mechanism of digital rights’ application and transfer and sheds light on the rules for digital transactions such as contracts.

The Chairman of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, stated in a press release:

“[The digital rights law] forms the basis for the development of the digital economy. This is a new area for our rights; thus it is important for us to consolidate the basic concepts.”

In another interview on the changes in the legal landscape after the implementation of this legislation, a senior partner at a Moscow-based legal firm, Aleksandr Zhuravlev, said that although there is still some room for improvement, the country’s approach is arguably better than many others.

“Of course the current project has flaws […] that could lead to ambiguity in some areas: determining the legal nature of cryptocurrencies and mining, as well as several other aspects (digital financial asset inheritance, etc.), Zhuravlev said. “However, it’s worth noting that Russia has not gone down the route of China or India, which have selected a prohibitive approach to digital assets.”

The decision will now lead an exhaustive debate on the description and handling of digital currencies pertaining civil property rights, although the related legislative proceedings and the draft bill on crypto titled ‘On Digital Financial Assets’ has already seen many delays and missed deadlines.

In July 2018, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had already expressed his desire to enact cryptocurrency regulation, and the current legislation is one significant step towards achieving that goal.


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