New Russian MP Bill to Ban Suspicious Financial Websites, Eyes ICO Projects Next


The importance of a robust set of laws to cover the budding cryosphere, particularly vulnerable is the ICO sector, has had a growing voice especially in the last year or so.

Now governments are taking note and acting upon it. The latest in this long line is the Russian Federation, looking to reign in dodgy financial activity and possibly scam Initial Coin Offerings (ICO).

On the 11th of December, a group of members of parliament (MPs) introduced a draft bill that looks to empower the government to take down a website if it has concerns about possible fiscal fraud. This could very well include disreputable ICOs, according to Forklog, a Russian crypto media outlet.

The draft proposes more powers to both the central and state banks. It suggests mechanisms that will allow the nation’s central banking authority powers to be able to block websites; when it finds the site is not adhering to any legislation. Similarly, the state banks can request a court intervention to take down a website on the basis of pre-trial settlement.

For the most part, the proposal looks to focus on rooting out websites that have fake banking URLs or offer financial services without proper licensing. Also mentioned are “financial pyramids”, a business model regularly employed by ICO con artists.

To show the governments clear interest, the group of MPs working on this is being headed by Vyacheslav Volodin, the chairman of the lower house of the Russian Parliament — the Duma. The bill has been in the works for over a year, with the direct involvement of even the Russsian premier, Vladimir Putin.

As per Forklog, Alexander Zhuravlev, believes that the government is seriously looking at measures to bring crypto under regulatory purview, particularly ICOs. Alexander is a noted blockchain author and his crypto education program is supported by the government. He opines:

“The central bank has been struggling to clean the market of pseudo-credit organizations and financial pyramids. If we apply this to future ICO projects that fail to comply with their obligations, then the central bank will also be entitled to request the blocking of their websites.”

The Russian parliament has been working on a more focused set of laws pertaining to crypto regulations, however, their first foray has been returned with major rework suggested.

The draft which was pushed back was also roundly disparaged, owing partly to the fact that it did not even include important terms such as “mining” and “cryptocurrencies”. Despite this, top government officials are satisfied with the bill. This week the Deputy Prime Minister for Transport, Communications and Digital Economy, Maxim Akimov, announced that no changes were foreseen to the draft.

It is always encouraging to see proactive government involvement in trying to rid this industry off semesters. With a recent lull in price drops, it is a good foundation on which the cryptos can mount a countercharge. To do so it needs to ensure public trust. This sort of action is certainly a step in the right direction.

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