During a Russian government strategy meeting to stem the spread of COVID-19, Mikhail Mishustin, the Russian prime minister, delved into the issue of cryptocurrencies and digital assets and asserted the need to advance regulation of this market in a civilized manner.
Protecting the rights of cryptoasset owners
The prime minister alluded to the fact that cryptocurrency was a new instrument with a constantly growing public and crypto asset owners had to be protected. He acknowledged:
“Another solution concerns cryptocurrencies. This is a relatively new instrument, interest in which is constantly growing, and the Government plans to direct the development of this market in a civilized way so that the owners of such assets can protect their rights and interests, and the creation of shadow schemes would be difficult.”
These calls show the Russian administration’s commitment to curb the rise of crypto scams or shadow schemes as they have been detrimental in this sector. For instance, a study by leading blockchain tracking and analytics provider Whale Alert disclosed that scammers had been on a stealing spree as they made away with Bitcoin worth $24 million in the first half of 2020.
Amending the tax code
The prime minister also highlighted the need to amend the tax code so that crypto assets could be recognized as property. This will be a plus to owners because they will get court intervention if they fall prey to unlawful activities. He noted:
“Let’s make a number of changes to the Tax Code. Digital financial assets will be recognized as property, and their owners will be able to count on legal protection in the event of any illegal actions, as well as to defend their property rights in court.”
The status of cryptocurrencies in Russia has been embroidered in a back and forth tussle based on contradicting statements. For instance, in September, Anatoly Aksakov, the head of the nation’s Financial Market Committee, showed his intention to block cryptocurrencies because they were difficult to regulate. It, therefore, remains to be seen how things will shape up based on these positive remarks made by the Russian prime minister pertaining to crypto assets.