The lack of clarity in Russia on cryptocurrency regulations has become a cause of frustration for many who invested in it and operate exchanges in the country.
In the midst of the Russian Duma’s failure to pass a comprehensive law that regulates the cryptocurrency market, regulation is taking shape through the ministries and legal precedents in court cases. The latest of these is the declaration of cryptocurrency as property by justice minister Alexander Konovalov.
The minister made the announcement in front of journalists in Moscow after a landmark bankruptcy trial declared that a man’s cryptocurrency holdings should be made accessible to pay off a debt.
His confirmation establishes without a doubt that this trial established a legal precedent for future arbitration court proceedings in Russia.
“Cryptocurrency can be considered ‘other property.’ But the property must belong to one specific person. In this case, there is no established procedure for identifying whether the cryptocurrency belonged to that person. Therefore, you can claim that the cryptocurrency is property, but we do not yet know how it will be attached to this or that particular person. In other words, the property right is still not established,” said lawyer Kaloy Akhilgov during a radio show.
Although there are still details to work out, the Russian government is moving forward to make regulations clearer for individuals. A few days ago, the Duma began the process of discussing a law that would require cryptocurrency operators to register with authorities for approval, similar to how Japan issues licenses to exchanges. This particular law was brought forward by a movement inside the Duma whose focus is to ensure customer protection from scams and pyramid schemes. Though the bill itself doesn’t establish how operators would be selected, it defers to the Finance Ministry and the Ministry of Economic Development to work out these details.