УДК 347.734

Digital financial assets and digital currency: correlation of concepts and regulation

Суконникова Елена Владиславовна – бакалавр Московского государственного юридического университета имени О.Е. Кутафина.

Abstract: The article dedicates to issues of licit regulation of digital financial assets and digital currency in the Russian Federation. There are considered correlation of concepts of digital financial assets and digital currency. The profound attention devotes to digital currency as a part of digital financial assets or separation digital currency from digital financial assets and causes for application of a particular method in the Russian Federation. Aside from that, foreign experience of regulation relating to digital financial assets and digital currency in Belgium and Hungary has been dwelt herein. Particularly, existing and upcoming licit foreign acts which enable to rule currency circulation abroad.

Аннотация: Статья посвящена вопросам правового регулирования цифровых финансовых активов и цифровой валюты в Российской Федерации. Рассматривается соотношение понятий цифровых финансовых активов и цифровой валюты. Особое внимание уделяется вопросу отнесения цифровой валюты к цифровым финансовым активам или отделения цифровой валюты от цифровых финансовых активов и причины применения такого подхода в Российской Федерации. Помимо этого приведен опыт правового регулирования цифровых финансовых активов и цифровой валюты в зарубежных странах таких, как Бельгия и Венгрия, а именно: существующие законодательные акты, позволяющие регулировать оборот цифровой валюты.

Keywords: digital financial assets, digital currency, digital rights, financial instruments.

Ключевые слова: цифровые финансовые активы, цифровая валюта, цифровые права, финансовые инструменты.

The concept of digital financial assets immediately has to do with the concept of digital rights. The aforementioned categories are licitly enshrined in federal acts. Therefore, digital rights are determined as pointed at certain laws as liability rights and other types of rights comprising the core and conditions. Carrying out the latter terms, it is substantial to determine them in accordance with the ongoing regulation incorporating certain bases of a particular information system that meets the criteria established by laws [1].

Stemmed from the analysis of provisions of peculiar regulations [2] embedding the conception of digital financial assets and digital utility tokens, there is supposed to be a pin that the present laws are established two forms of digital rights. As it was mentioned before, the first one consists of digital financial assets, the second type has to do with digital utility rights.

Having dwelt on the previous stances, there appears to be a necessity to sum up that digital financial assets are supposed to be a type of digital rights.

Respectively, the core of digital financial assets is determined by means of digital rights which incorporate:

  • monetary requirements;
  • opportunities for the implementation of rights under issued securities;
  • rights of performance in the shared capital;
  • opportunities to demand the transfer of issued securities, which are underlain by the release order of digital financial assets.

Furthermore, there should be mentioned precise rules which encompass the definition of digital currency revealed as a suite of remote data (a digital code or an indication), which is situated in the information systems. Besides, such forms of money are able to be considered or may be taken as an instrument for payment, which is stated neither as the legal tender of Russia nor as the legal tender of other foreign states. Moreover, it should not be mentioned as international monetary or calculation units and as investments. One more feature I have to point out refers to a paucity of a person or an entity which have obligations before owners of digital currency, except of the managers of the information systems who must provide the conformity of the release order and implementation of actions in order to make records located in the specific information systems [3].

Regarding the above-mentioned provisions, it should be stated that the legislative body has defined to divide definitions of digital financial assets and digital currency. There are several incentives to be assessed as the substantive reasons [4].

Initially, I am supposed to accentuate that the given categories enable their proprietors to possess the reverse opportunities. Hence, there appears to be their division into absolute and relative rights. It has been caused by the absence of the obliged subject referring to digital currency while digital financial assets have obliged people with precise commitments.

The next peculiarity relates to an impossibility to control the information systems where virtual currency is being operated. It implies that if an owner loses their access to the information system, there will not be any chance to dispose of their virtual currency as well as an opportunity to restore the access to the latter.

Concerning the managers of the information systems comprised digital financial assets, it should be pointed out the significant amount of proxies such as an obligation to repair the access to records of assets upon request from right holders. Thus, the managers are eligible to have the direct access to the data system of digital financial assets where necessary it ensures the usage of impairments pursuant to mandatory judgements of courts or other authorities.

To sum up, the possession of digital rights enables people to dispose of opportunities to require a particular outcome from obliged subjects. Therefore, digital rights are supposed to possess to some extent secured obligations. Referring to digital currency, on the contrary, there is no any ensuring commitments.

Earlier mentioned peculiarities are going to be hindrances for diligent regulation of such a specific object as virtual currency, and for its involvement in the list of digital financial assets.

Addressing the foreign practice and experience, I have to accentuate that the similar term of virtual currency has been determined by the European Central Bank. It has represented as a digital display of worth, not issued by a main bank, credit organization or e-money institution, which, in some conditions, can be operated as an alternative to money [5]. It clarifies that even though they can be used as a substitution to money, virtual currency is not money or legal tender from a legal perspective, in contrast to digital money. Thus, processing the previous information, I am able to conclude that there is no any duty to take payments in virtual currency.

As it has already stated that there is no profound regulation of digital currency in the Russian Federation as well as in Belgium. Notwithstanding, there appears to be several legal rules heading versatile financial instrument. Hence, it is supposed to be evaluated of two standpoints whether virtual currency is covered by the aforementioned framework or not.

Initially, it has to do with miscellaneous ways of digital currency usage:

  • as a method of payment which allows the possessor to dispose of them to purchase certain merchandises and services that are vended on the Internet;
  • as an instrument of investment ensuring the holder a lucrative incentive in a company embedding the performance of a company;
  • with a utility objective it gives the access for holders to certain commodities or services that are spread on the platform of issuers.

Considering various outlooks, one of them states if virtual currency is considered as a method of paying or utility tokens, then it does not encompass a chance to be ruled by the Belgian laws devoted to investments as far as digital currency and utility tokens are not indicated as financial instruments.

Moreover, digital currency is not covered by regulation of transferable securities as long as they do not reflect an accurate opportunity for corporations that release the securities. By the way, there appears to be distinct ventures associated with digital currency, from marketplace hacking to scarcity of state supervision and cost volatility.

Aside from, there has to be a suggestion for exchanging services to users, allowing them to come by digital currency with fiat money or other virtual currency. The Act on Financial Instruments and the Act on Investment Services include norms of general regulation that would practice to dual patterns of digital currency exchanges if it was to be reviewed as financial instruments.

In reference to Hungary, it has to be mentioned that there is the similar conditions connected with regulation of digital currency just because of the lack of specific laws which could manage of virtual currency usage in Hungary. Digital currency is not pointed at as neither legal tender nor securities in Hungary [6]. Even though it is currently a licit form of remote payments. It indicates that Hungarian citizens are able to acquire virtual currency as well as pay by them while shopping online.

Besides, digital currency is finally given a legal definition, following the Union’s draft Crypto Asset Regulation to determine it as a remote representation of cost or rights that can be virtually transited and stored using shared accounting technology or similar technology [7].

According to the existing tax and currency legal implementation in Hungary, anyone who is constantly getting revenues due to the usage of currency, must pay an overall tax burden of 30.5% transferring it to treasury. However, The Hungarian government has sustained the proposal developed by the Blockchain Hungary Association pursuant to which the tax rate will be plummeted by 15%. The first tax return deadline under the new rules will be on May 2023.

Having dwelt on the provided themes, I would emphasize that these days only the first attempts are undertaken in order to subject digital currency to regulation by means of accurate provisions in Russian Federation as well as in foreign countries. Taking into account the digitalization of the terrestrial globe and the drastic growth of digital currency, legislative bodies will elaborate more precise legislation in the nearest future, at least for implementation of taxation regarding operations with digital currency, and respectively for replenishing the treasury.


  1. Article 141.1 of The Civil Code of Russian Federation (part I) № 51-FZ dated 30.11.1994 [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_5142/
  2. Article 1 of the Federal Law dated 31.07.2020 No 259-FZ On the Digital Financial Assets, Digital Currency and on Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_358753/
  3. Alekseev N. V. The correlation of digital rights, digital financial assets and digital currencies institutions // Proceedings of Voronezh State University. Series: Law. 2022. No 1 (48). P. 180–190 [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: https://doi.org/10.17308/vsu.proc.law.2022.1/3723
  4. European Central Bank (2015), 'Virtual Currency Schemes – a further analysis [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/other/virtualcurrencyschemesen.pdf
  5. The Virtual Currency Regulation Review: Belgium: Michiel Van Roey and Louis Bidaine [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-virtual-currency-regulation-review/belgium#footnote-120
  6. Regulation of Digital Currencies: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, Blockchain Technology [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: https://freemanlaw.com/cryptocurrency/hungary/
  7. Bitcoin És Kriptovaluta Adozas Ultimate Kisokos 2021 [Electronic resource]: - Access mode: https://cryptofalka.hu/bitcoin-kriptovaluta-adozas-2021/?fbclid=IwAR0rokCaIi3ed3R_NpuLZuRrPzEWF72KcPF2AnLpQHVUUsdJ-dbp_ch9dk0.

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