Russia Launches Board for Hearing Cryptocurrency Cases


Russia moved to establish a special board for the resolution of disputes that are related to the crypto industry. Reportedly, this move has been caused by a rising number of smart contract related cases in Russia.

1 November 2018 – The Arbitration Centre at Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) announced the creation of a board for disputes regarding the issues involving the “digital economy.” Reportedly, the board will hear the cases that are crypto-related. 

Chamber Will Hear Blockchain, ICO, Crypto Cases

It is also understood that the chamber will be created to review cases related to Blockchain technology, Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), and smart contracts. A number of online reports cited experts saying that the number of such cases might rise up to 40 times in the years 2020-2025. 

The head of the Duma working group that is responsible for assessing the possible risks of cryptocurrencies, Elina Sidorenko, stated that guidelines for the chamber have already been prepared. She added that arbitrators have been hired. As per some of the local reports, Sidorenko will be leading the newly formed entity. 

She noted that the Russian courts are now facing a number of challenges due to the significant growth of crypto-related cases. Reportedly, almost half of them are connected to smart contracts. Sidorenko has been quoted as saying:

“The courts are now facing a lot of problems, including the lack of regulatory mechanisms to protect the rights of citizens, who create and apply digital technologies, and the ability to accept digital data as a new type of evidence.”

She further stated that major entrepreneurial interest in the digital economy can only be controlled in case the issuers of smart contracts will be legally and civilly liable for their activities. Online reports state that RSPP stressed that the complexity of legal issues in the Blockchain and crypto space calls for the creation of an independent body for arbitration.

RSPP Proposes Alternative Crypto BIll

RSPP, among other members, includes mineral mining and smelting billionaire Vladimir Potanin, and Viktor Vekselberg, the head of the Russian innovation fund Skolkovo. The entity has proposed an alternative to the state draft bill “On Digital Financial Assets.”

The group has first announced that it was working on the alternative cryptocurrency bill back in the middle of September. The key purpose was to get rid of contradictions in the government draft and to serve the interests of Russian entrepreneurs that are engaged in a crypto-related activity.

Back in October, RSPP sent its suggestions regarding the crypto regulations to Dmitry Medvedev, the country’s prime minister. The lobby group then asked to postpone hearings for the government draft in order to discuss controversies and to have buffer time to work on the token classifications. 

After the recent edits to the government draft law, the legislation now lacks some of the key crypto terms, such as a definition of crypto mining, or of cryptocurrency itself.

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