Russian Bill Requires Deputies to Declare Their Cryptocurrency Investments.
The bill for the regulation of cryptocurrencies in Russia submitted by the finance ministry and the central bank requires State Duma deputies to declare their cryptocurrency investments. Currently, government officials are not required to declare their crypto holdings, according to a recent announcement by the Russian Ministry of Labor.
The chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, explained last week that Russian officials will be required to declare their cryptocurrency holdings under the bill recently submitted by the central bank and the ministry of finance.
In this bill, which is expected to be ready in February, the finance ministry proposed treating cryptocurrency as “other property”.
In an interview with Gazeta, Aksakov revealed that if the bill is adopted, “officials will be forced to indicate their cryptocurrency holdings in their income statements,” the news outlet conveyed. “This will automatically happen with the adoption of the law on the definition of cryptocurrency,” he added, noting:
“If the law prescribes that this cryptocurrency is property, then any property owned by a State Duma deputy must be declared.”
Although Aksakov claims that he does not own any tokens or cryptocurrencies so the law will not affect him personally, he believes that “it is in the interest of the state to justify the rules that define cryptocurrency as property.”
Russia is not the only country to submit legislation requiring lawmakers to declare their crypto holdings. Earlier this week, it was reported that a South Korean lawmaker introduced a bill to require government officials to declare their cryptocurrency possessions. In August 2016, three Ukrainian lawmakers declared their bitcoin holdings worth $47 million.
Earlier this month, the Russian Ministry of Labor announced that state employees do not have to declare their cryptocurrency holdings. The income declaration form “does not provide for the indication of goods, services received in kind, as well as virtual currencies,” Tass quoted a document on the ministry’s website. This is the first time cryptocurrency is mentioned in “the updated recommendations on the declaration of income of officials,” Izvestia described.
Aksakov told Gazeta that there are two bills. The first lays out the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto mining. The second regulates crowdfunding. It includes procedures that “should be implemented in the case, for example, of the bankruptcy of an organization that issued tokens to attract investments for the implementation of a project.”
The finance ministry is also working on a bill to legalize cryptocurrency trading on approved exchanges. Commenting on whether the ministry of finance or the central bank will eventually support cryptocurrency trading at exchanges, Aksakov revealed:
“The central bank is very cautious about this, but I think that we will nevertheless follow a faster path than the central bank expected. Since there is a phenomenon, we are unlikely to prohibit it. And if we do not resolve it, then we will drive people into criminal activities.”
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