Regulators in Russia have been tightening the laws that govern cryptocurrencies. A new law has recently been passed that requires all Russian public officials to disclose their crypto holdings, while some are obliged to hold zero cryptos by April 1.
As previously reported by The Daily Chain, last month, President Vladimir Putin signed a new order which requires all public officials to declare any cryptocurrency holdings and digital assets from Jan. 1, 2021. The order was passed as a part of the nation’s law “On Digital Financial Assets,” or DFA, which was made effective on Jan. 1.
The law requires any public official or individual who works or plans on working with the government to disclose their digital assets, as well as those of their spouse and children. The rules have been implemented to ensure that the government is compliant with the local financial declaration rules like the regular citizens.
Meanwhile, another regulation prohibits some Russian officials from owning any digital currencies, as part of the nation’s anti-corruption measures. An informational letter published by the Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Protection last month reminded certain officials that they are obligated to liquidate their crypto assets by April 1, regardless of the country of issuance.
The officials affected by this law are listed in Part 1 of Article 2 of the Russian Federal Law from May 7, 2013, No. 79-FL, and it prohibits them from storing funds abroad or even use any foreign services related to this.
As such, the list includes key public officials like running and deputy positions in public office, the board of directors of the Russian central bank, public corporations owned by the Russian Federation, heads of district administrations, and many others.
The letter also added that other officials from separate categories are not bound by this law, but they will have to disclose their crypto holdings.
One thing that remains unclear is that how the regulators plan on monitoring compliance from a technological standpoint. Speaking on this matter with a media publisher, Artem Grigoriev, head of the research lab at the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain, noted:
“There is still no law on the circulation of cryptocurrency. The authors of this initiative probably have their own vision about the implementation of these rules. Practice will show.”
On the other hand, Maria Stankevich, a member of the Russian Committee on Blockchain Technologies and Cryptoeconomics questioned the technological and legal feasibility of these rules, stating:
“The restrictions for the certain groups of the establishment for possessing the digital currency is actually a logical step in the attempts to stop corruption. […] This is a clear signal for all the officials that the government now has another lever to show its power when needed. However, the main question is how they will monitor it, as there is no such law or process.”