Speaking on 16 may at a plenary session of St. Petersburg International legal forum, the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev said about the need for regulation of the digital environment, including phenomena such as blockchain and cryptocurrency. The words of the head of the government was quoted by TASS:

The ruble is now and in the future remains the only legal tender, but transactions in the digital environment is the reality that we can no longer ignore. We need to fix in the civil legislation of the basic provisions to translate them into the language of the law. Therefore, instead of the common slang expressions like “cryptocurrency” and “tokens” legislators develop a more legally rigorous concept of “digital money”, “digital rights” and some others.

According to Medvedev, now there are new, sometimes strange objects and the right ways to invest in digital projects, “distributed blockchain, which brings a new round of development of cross-border financial transactions” that requires an appropriate legislative framework. The Prime Minister noted that, currently being elaborated by the state Duma the draft law “On digital of financial assets” will provide legal protection from abuse in the event of a conflict and prevent withdrawal of assets in an unregulated digital environment, which is particularly important in combating money laundering. In addition, a clear regulatory framework will allow the taxation of the digital environment, Medvedev said.

He also noted that “the attempt to regulate the digital world is totally counterproductive and unrealistic”. According to him, the most difficult task is to find a balance: to develop a “flexible legislation, which defines some basic terms, but does not interfere with the development of digital space.”