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Russian state duma approved the idea to equate paper and digital agreements

The new amendments to Russian civil code provide new type of rights – the digital rights. These amendments define what the digital right is. Actually new amendments aim to regulate crypto assets, digital financial assets and alternative means of investments (сrowd funding). It seems not so soon all amendments will became an adopted law.

The amendments equate the agreements concluded and signed in writing with agreement concluded digitally. Actually the Russian civil law already contains the provisions on conclusive actions. Thanks to amendments the purchase-sale agreement for real estate, rent and the agreement of supply concluded electronically would be valid. According to authors of law it should protect the rights of third parties. The provisions regulating the turnover of digital money have been excluded from amendments.

The definition of digital rights also has been amended. The drafters of law made it more general. To the second reading the digital rights mean “obligation and other rights, the substance and conditions of exercising thereof are to be defined in accordance with rules of informational system”. The digital rights can be executed and transferred only within in informational system without involvement of third person.

What means digital rights? Under the draft law this definition means “contracts concluded in internet, internet sales and unilateral legally meaningful deeds executed or performed in different applications at the execution or performance of payments and unilateral waivers from agreements etc.” – said one of the draft law authors. The amendments should help citizens to prove to the court the deals executed in digital environment in order to protect their rights.

The amendments also provide provisions on so called “smart contracts”. “Smart contract” is not contract in its classical understanding; it is condition to execute it automatically. It is like auto payment – the payment executed automatically if the certain condition is met. The draft law also provides opportunity to vote electronically in order to avoid the meeting in person. It could be voting by sms, in social networks. The court should accept the results of such voting if the means of identification have been applied. The means of identification can be regulated officially.

Crypto assets and block chain are to be excluded from the draft law. But authors of draft law believe the crypto assets can be the object of rights “in other cases”. Therefore the draft law does not contain the definitions of block chain or crypto currency.

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