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Russian lawmakers on Tuesday approved a draft law that would potentially exempt issuers of digital assets and cryptocurrencies from value-added tax.
The Russian Central Bank has long voiced scepticism of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets, citing concerns over financial stability. The Ministry of Finance, on the other hand, has reportedly been looking into how to legalize cryptocurrencies.
But in February the regulator gave blockchain platform Atomyze Russia the first licence to exchange digital assets. A licence for dominant lender Sberbank soon followed.
Unprecedented Western sanctions have hit the heart of Russia's financial system over the aggression launched against Ukraine, and lawmakers have scrabbled to bring in new legislation to soften the blow.
The draft law, approved by State Duma members in the second and third readings on Tuesday, envisages exemptions on value-added tax for issuers of digital assets and information systems operators involved in their issue.
It also establishes tax rates on income earned from the sale of digital assets.
The current rate on transactions is 20%, the same as for standard assets. Under the new law, the tax would be 13% for Russian companies and 15% for foreign ones.
The draft must still be reviewed by the upper house and signed by current president Vladimir Putin to become law.
(Reporting by Reuters, Editing by Louise Heavens and Samuel Sherwood)
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