Russian companies have organized an enhancement course to prepare legal experts for the challenges of working in the cryptocurrency space. The oldest university of economics in the country, two law firms providing services to digital businesses, and both houses of parliament are behind the project to help lawyers understand the specifics of the industry.
Lawyers to Study Cryptocurrencies, ICOs and Smart Contracts
The one-month educational program titled “Legal basis and practice of working with cryptocurrency and blockchain projects” is hosted by the Plekhanov University of Economics, the oldest and one of the largest business schools in the Russian Federation. It’s focused on matters related to the legislative regulation of the nascent industry as well as law enforcement practices in Russia and other jurisdictions.
According to Alexander Zhuravlev, managing partner at the Efficient Business Resources law firm and co-founder of the program, the successful completion of the course will allow jurists to work with blockchain products. Quoted by Politika Segodnya, he noted that the sixth edition of the course, starting Nov. 23, will cover cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), digital asset exchanges, smart contracts, mining, and address the implementation of distributed ledger technologies in the private and public sector. Anti-money laundering (AML) practices and know your customer (KYC) procedures will be part of the curriculum as well.
IT Technologia, a company providing legal advice to IT businesses, and the Russian parliament are also among the organizers of the program. They have invited a number of lecturers from different fields, including legal experts, academics and representatives of the business community like Gerbert Shopnik, CEO of the Russian branch of mining company Bitfury and Alexander Mikhailov, cofounder and director of Lavka Lavka, an organic food farmers’ cooperative and restaurant chain that has its own token.
As part of the “Blockchain Lawyers” course, participants will visit the State Duma and the Federation Council, the upper and lower house of Russia’s legislature, and introduce lawmakers to their own ideas about the regulation of the digital economy, including the cryptocurrency industry. The students will also have the opportunity to meet representatives of the Russian internet giant Mail.ru Group. The lawyers will join a community of experts working to improve the legal framework for the fintech sector which is still under development.
Russian Cryptocurrency Industry Remains Unregulated
The cryptocurrency space in Russia is still unregulated after the adoption of a package of three bills, approved on first reading in May, was postponed for the parliamentary session this fall.
Public discussions on the drafts are currently underway, with representatives of the crypto community criticizing the state-sponsored legal framework for not covering important aspects of the industry. Russian lawmakers removed key terms like cryptocurrency, mining and smart contracts from the texts of the main bill, the law “On Digital Financial Assets.”
The Russian Association of Cryptoindustry and Blockchain (RACIB) and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) have put forward their own regulatory proposals. An alternative draft law prepared by the RSPP grants cryptocurrencies “special status.” The lawyers taking the enhancement course have been encouraged to share their professional opinions on the matter during the upcoming meetings with legislators in the State Duma and the Federation Council.
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