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. reports from Russia:

“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, 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.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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