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Russia Bill Requires Officials to Declare Crypto Holdings



The chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, disclosed that Russian officials would be required to pronounce their cryptocurrency holdings under the bill that was submitted by the central bank and the ministry of finance.

The bill, which is expected to be ready for implementation next month, the finance ministry proposed treating cryptocurrency as “other property.”

In a report, Aksakov announced 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.”

While Aksakov says that he does not have any tokens or cryptocurrencies so the law would not impact him in any way, 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 nation to forward legislation that mandates lawmakers to declare their crypto holdings.

Earlier this week, a South Korean lawmaker introduced a bill to compel government officials to proclaim their cryptocurrency possessions. In August of 2016, three Ukrainian lawmakers also declared their bitcoin holdings worth $47 million.

Earlier this month, the Russian Ministry of Labor said 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,” the Russian state news agency quoted a document on the ministry’s website.

Aksakov said that there are two bills.

The first outlines the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, initial coin offerings (ICOs), and crypto mining.

The second regulates crowdfunding. It includes practices 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 sanctioned exchanges. Commenting on whether the ministry of finance or the central bank would eventually back cryptocurrency trading at exchanges, Aksakov had this say:

“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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