Putin signs bill that will prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies for payment starting next year

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill that will prohibit cryptocurrencies as a means of payment in the country, according to a report published this morning by Russian news agency RIA. 

The development comes after Russian lawmakers proposed a version of the law that would make any business issuing or trading crypto illegal. The new bill, signed Friday, appears to represent a more mild version of the first proposal. According to RIA, although the bill defines cryptocurrency as a kind of property for tax purposes, they cannot be used to pay for goods and services in Russia. 

The bill also contains language stating that companies can issue digital securities via blockchain, provided that they receive approval from the Bank of Russia, the country's central bank. The law is set to come into effect in January 2021.

Russian individuals and entities will be able to challenge transactions involving digital currencies in court only if plaintiffs report proof of transactions and crypto holdings, according to RIA. 

Lawmaker Anatoly Aksakov told RIA that another bill, which will focus on more specific aspects of digital currencies, is in the works and could be adopted in the coming months. 

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