Russian lawmakers issued limitations for investors and businesses initiating token offerings.
On December 28, 2017, it was revealed by the Russian finance ministry that regulatory measures aimed at token offerings will put caps on what companies can raise via crowdfunding, and limits on how much unqualified investors can commit.
State media quoted Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev, who explained the finer details of the limitation. He said, “A maximum of 1 billion rubles [approximately $17.3 million] can be raised through an ICO, and each unqualified investor will be able to invest a maximum of 50,000 rubles [about $864].” To be considered a “qualified investor,” an individual must meet a series of requirements spelled out in amendments made to Russian federal law in April of 2009. Moiseev states that these qualified investors can invest any amount of capital.
Some might see the move to segregate qualified investors from unqualified ones as averse to the sentiment of decentralized culture, since central entities and third parties would need to bridge the gap for unqualified investors to be able to get around the proposed limitations. Others might argue that the limitations provide a measure of protection for less savvy retail investors.
Moiseev emphasized regulators’ desire to avoid terminology reminiscent of banking regulation in the bill. “We want to make the bill as direct as possible and minimize the reference to the norms of the Bank of Russia, so that the regulation of ICOs does not become another currency control.”
While an edict by President Putin set a deadline for the regulation on July 1, 2018, the efforts of lawmakers to issue the legislation ahead of schedule is an indicator of Russia’s proactive stance on blockchain technology.