Russian lawmakers prep legislation and form working group to address growing bitcoin mining industry

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The leader of Russia's legislature is calling for a new working group to focus on cryptocurrencies, with special attention to the rapidly growing local mining industry. 

On November 11, Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the State Duma, directed his deputy, Aleksei Gordeyev, to create an inter-committee working group on cryptocurrency, to be headed by Andrey Lugavoy, who had initially pushed the issue before today's plenary session. 

Lugavoy is a leading figure on the Committee on Security and Corruption Control. Central to his push for greater controls over the local crypto mining industry. Since China's general expulsion of crypto miners earlier this year, the U.S., Kazakhstan and Russia have taken the podium as the largest contributors to Bitcoin's hash rate. 

While Lugavoy proposed the legalization of crypto mining in Russia, which currently occupies a legal gray area, he also objected to Russian miners not paying taxes on their earnings, which he put at $2 billion per year.

Lugavoy also said that he had legislation already prepped to address these issues, but was not clear on when he would introduce it to the Duma. 

As the Russian mining industry grows, more official entities are expressing interest. It recently came to light that regulators were considering a proposal from Russian oil and gas giants allowing them to mine crypto using flare gas. These considerations seem set to accelerate the consideration of a long-pending law addressing crypto trading and payments within the country. 

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