Russian Ministry of economic development plans to launch regulatory sandboxes in four local regions: Moscow, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, and Perm, Izvestia reported (in Russian).
A regulatory sandbox is a testing environment, organized for piloting new technologies and evaluation of their advantages for the private sector. The law on sandboxes is expected to be passed until July 1.
These facilities will allow testing new technologies that are currently unregulated, including blockchain and cryptocurrency, neural networks, quantum computations, artificial intelligence, robotics, along with the virtual and augmented reality.
Authorities of Kaluga region have confirmed to the media that they are planning to roll out big data-related projects locally. As Kaliningrad governor Anton Alikhanov noted, it is “it is advisable” to consider sandboxes for the blockchain and intellectual property solutions. Representatives from Moscow and Perm administrations declined to comment.
According to the Ministry’s official, a primary goal of sandboxes is to stimulate innovative activity through a more flexible regulation.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency regulation in Russia is pending, as the law on digital assets is being considered by the national parliament since 2018. Still, the Supreme Court has already recognized crypto in terms of money laundering cases, following the FATF guideline.
Moreover, in January 2019 the government official said it is, in fact, legal to make local purchases with cryptocurrency debit cards.
Even without proper regulation in place, Russia may be considered a crypto-aware country. According to the study published by The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM), 74% Russians know what crypto is, yet only 2% respondents said they invest in Bitcoin.
Also read: Russia: Crypto Debit Cards Are Legal Here