The Prosecutor General’s Office of Russia has proposed to define cryptocurrency as property in the country’s Criminal Code. Although decentralized digital money is already recognized as property in several laws, there are still many aspects that remain unregulated.
Russia: Prosecutors draft legislation to grant cryptocurrency property status
The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation has prepared a draft law to recognize cryptocurrency and other virtual assets as property. The legal definition will be used in court proceedings within the framework of the Criminal Code, Russia’s Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov explained in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
Krasnov expressed concern about the increasing use of financial technology to commit crime, which he believes is being facilitated by gaps in legal regulation. He was quoted by Interfax as saying:
Online platforms offering anonymity for cryptocurrency transactions have not yet been established. The issue of virtual property being classified as property in criminal cases has also not been settled.
The Prosecutor general revealed that his Department has already initiated a bill to regulate the subject, and that he is grateful for the support of lawmakers. Digital currencies, like bitcoin, have already been recognised as property in several Russian acts. These include the law on bankruptcy, on enforcement proceedings and within the anti money laundering legislation.
A bill that would have defined digital currency property in taxation was presented to the Duma last December. Although the draft law would have required Russian citizens to declare cryptocurrency assets on their tax returns, it has yet to be adopted.
Cryptocurrencies remain only partially regulated in the Russian Federation, mainly through the law “On Digital Financial Assets” which went into force in January of this year. While it introduced terms and rules pertaining to cryptocurrency and related activities like “digital currency issuance,” it doesn’t deal with other areas such as crypto mining or payments, for example.
Officials in Moscow are now supporting the notion of mining being recognized as an entrepreneurial activity. However, Bank of Russia is still opposed to the free flow of cryptocurrency in Russia’s economy. Elvira Nabullina, head of the central bank’s monetary control, stated recently that the digital ruble is the currency Russian citizens really need. She also rejected cryptocurrencies she claimed could pose a threat to financial stability.
Do you think Russian deputies will back the Prosecutor General’s proposal to define cryptocurrency as property under the country’s Criminal Code? Leave a comment below.
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