Proposal to Classify Bitcoins as Digital Goods in Russia.
The Central Bank of Russia has proposed classifying cryptocurrencies including bitcoin as digital goods for tax purposes, according to local publications. The draft proposal is due in one month.
The Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Russia, Olga Skorobogatova, revealed on Thursday that the bank has proposed to classify cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, as digital goods for tax purposes. Sputnik International reported her saying:
“Two months ago we held a meeting with ministries and organizations… on how to classify non-state cryptocurrencies, which are de facto used in Russia. We propose to treat them as digital goods, use the digital goods legislation, with certain amendments on taxes, control and record-keeping.”
According to Skorobogatova, the proposal was supported by all ministries, and the central bank is planning to deliver the first draft of the regulations in a month. This proposal follows its promise in February for the central bank to decide whether digital currencies are considered assets, cash or securities by mid-2017.
According to RBC, a major Russian media group based in Moscow, the central bank says they need to start controlling crytocurrencies in Russia or could quickly become a threat.
Since digital coins are not backed by gold reserves and are not state-controlled, the lieutenant governor said they can lead to instability in the financial markets sooner or later.
The government’s official stance on cryptocurrencies has been under constant debate for years. Beginning with a very strict stance favoring criminalization, Russian lawmakers have become more forgiving over time as the benefits of blockchain technology became evident in the country.
This month, Russia’s largest online retailer, Ulmart, has announced it will start accepting bitcoin payments in September.
Meanwhile, the volume of operations has grown steadily. Localbitcoins, the most popular trading platform in Russia, shows that the country has the second largest trade volume, behind only China. Russia has seen more than 400 million rubles trading, or more than $ 7 million dollars in weekly volumes for three consecutive weeks.
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