The Russian financial department suggests treating cryptocurrencies as “property” and to protect users rights by obligatory identification of cryptocurrency customers.
This proposal was voiced out by deputy finance minister Alexey Moiseyev. According to him, operations with cryptocurrencies should be monitored and treated as transactions with derivative products, and they should comply with AML regulations and measures to counteract money-laundering. Therefore, it is necessary to oblige cryptocurrency users to pass identification, and cryptocurrency companies should keep records of all transactions and their executors and provide protection of cryptocurrency buyer rights.
The control over cryptocurrency circulation should be assigned to the points of their purchase and cashing, that is exchanges and wallets. Additionally, the ministry of finance is looking for a way to determine cryptocurrency in the legal tax field. “Now there are different legal concepts, but fundamentally there is a proposal, which we are now thinking about, to define Bitcoins and cryptocurrencies in general as other property.
Because if it’s called money, its currency control and everything else, and it’s unclear whether we need such a definition, because it’s not a foreign currency,” Moiseyev said. It means that cryptocurrency purchasing will fall under the personal income tax (Personal Income Tax), and citizens will have to file such transactions themselves to their local tax office at the end of the relevant tax period, if they do not use the services of an official broker. Currently, the ministry is preparing a package of proposals to submit to the government within a month and a half.
A similar initiative to introduce obligatory Bitcoin user’s identification might be soon adopted in the European Union. The main goal of this step is to de-anonymise cryptocurrency payments, which, according to various security agencies both in the EU and in Russia, can be used to finance terrorist activities. Earlier, the deputy chairman of the Russian Central Bank said that the Russian regulator is considering creating a national digital currency.