The State Duma of the Russian Federation officially fixed the basic concepts of the digital economy

The State Duma of the Russian Federation officially fixed the basic concepts of the digital economy

The concept of “digital rights” has been introduced; smart contracts are equated to paper ones; declaration of will is allowed in electronic form

On March 12, 2019, the State Duma of the Russian Federation adopted amendments to the Civil Code in the third reading, introducing the concept of “digital rights”. This concept will now be fixe  d in Article 141.1 of the Civil Code. On October 1, 2019, this bill will come into force.

The amendments will fix basic terms and ideas of the digital economy, which has remained legally unregulated for a long time. The amendments were initiated by Vyacheslav Volodin (the State Duma’s Speaker), his deputy Pyotr Tolstoy, and also by Pavel Krasheninnikov (the head of the State Duma Committee on Statebuilding). As V. Volodin noted earlier, the law on digital rights creates a favorable environment for the development of the digital economy.

The law establishes the concept of “digital rights” in Russian legislation. “Digital rights” are understood as special “obligations and other rights, the content and conditions for the implementation of which are determined in accordance with the rules of the information system that meets the criteria established by law; the execution, disposal, including transfer, deposit, encumbrance of a digital right by other means or restriction of disposal thereof is possible only in the information system without addressing the third party.”

In the updated version of the document, smart contracts and contracts on the blockchain are equal in legal force to traditional documents. Thus, residents of Russia will be able to sell and buy real estate, personal property, etc., using electronic documents, including those registered on the blockchain. Moreover, the signature to the contract on the blockchain can be either standard, i.e. written by hand, – or electronic. It should be noted that blockchain can be used in the drawing of any contracts and documents up, except for last wills and testaments. The latter should be written in the traditional written form.

The bill also states that institutions will be able to conduct absentee vote using blockchain or other electronic platforms for organizing such events. So declaration of will in the electronic form will be equated with the traditional one.

Author: Alena Snezhnaya

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