New Digital Rights Law Enacted in Russia – Establishes Basic Definition Of Tokens And Governs Smart Contracts

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    A new law on digital rights enacted by the Russian government on October 1, 2019, establishing the basic definition of tokens and set new rules for smart contracts.

    But it falls short of legislation governing digital assets and investment platforms that offer them.  Such rules have yet to be adopted. However, the Russian government is currently reviewing two other bills, on attracting investments using investment platforms and digital financial assets and once (or if) adopted – these bills, together with the Law, should sort out regularity uncertainty for the blockchain and crypto communities in Russia.

    Regnum.ru reports from Russia:

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    “The norms also govern the sphere of smart contracts,” said Pavel Krasheninnikov,  the head of the State Duma's legislative committee. “That is, the condition for the automatic execution of a [smart] contract will begin to apply. First of all, such contractual terms are common in the banking sector, for example, a client can charge a bank to write off utility bills in “auto-payment” mode.”

    According to the report at Regnum.ru, the Civil Code is further supported by a new rule stating that a transaction may provide for obligation fulfillment by its parties under certain circumstances – using technologies such as blockchain – where the information system will execute contracts itself.

    “The law addresses the issue of legalizing the collection and processing of significant arrays of anonymized information (big data). Basic norms are being fixed for regulating the circulation of digital rights and, very importantly, judicial protection of the rights of citizens and legal entities arising in the relations of the digital economy will be provided, Krasheninnikov emphasized.”

    According to legal pundits at CMS Law, even though the Law introduces a new concept of digital rights, its practical implementation depends on when, and in what form, other laws governing the exercise of digital rights will be adopted, and how the courts will interpret them.