Amendments to the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation related to cryptocurrencies are being prepared in Russia. In its current form, the bill puts the authors of games with in-game currency at risk. They face, among other things, criminal liability for “digital currency turnover”.

What kind of amendments?

We are talking about a package of amendments “On digital financial assets”. It has been developed for three years, the project has passed the first reading. After that, changes were made to it, which were published by the Telegram channel “OrderCom” on May 21.

The bill prohibits the issuance and circulation of tokens using various software on the territory of the Russian Federation, but allows courts to recover them if necessary. He also introduces fines of up to 2 million rubles and criminal sentences of up to 7 years for everyone involved in the illegal circulation of digital currency.

This includes providers and telecom operators, data centers, developers of websites about the crypto market and even distributors of information about it, as well as game developers and publishers.

How does this relate to games?

The package contains a number of inaccurate formulations. For example, the concept of “digital currency” is not specified. The concept of “digital currency issuance” is also ambiguously formulated.

Because of this, as legal experts fear, an in-game currency can also be equated with a “digital currency”. The expert interviewed by RBC clarified that in the games “there is no person who is obliged to the owner of “diamonds”, “coins” and other things.”

The developer or publisher of the game acts as the operator and owner of the database of such a “digital currency”. The bill threatens them with judicial liability if the mechanics of monetization are not changed — or the wording is not clarified.

The amendments may also affect the premium currency, which can be bought for real. “As far as this applies to digital financial assets and whether it applies to digital currencies — it is not entirely clear what causes concerns and questions, I would draw the attention of game developers to this bill and wonder if something will have to change in monetization,” the expert said.

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Due to inaccuracies, representatives of other industries not related to the crypto market also fall under the bill. This:

  • authors of websites about cryptocurrency projects;
  • authors of posts in social networks, messengers and mass media with information about the development of the cryptocurrency market in Russia or abroad.

Now market participants are asking the authorities to clarify the concepts introduced by the bill. This request is also contained in a letter from Sergei Izrailit, Director of the Skolkovo Development Department, to the Ministry of Economic Development (the latter is considering the bill). The department confirmed that the letter was received.

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