The journey for Bitcoin to become a major asset from nothing but ‘magic internet money’ has been quite long, but the number one cryptocurrency seems to be getting there now. Along with the industry, the asset’s legal status has also improved. Now, the prime minister of Russia has revealed the government’s plans to amend existing laws to recognize cryptocurrency as property. The move will allow bitcoin holders to legally defend and recoup their cryptocurrencies in court.
In a government meeting held this Thursday, Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of Russia, discussed various plans for the regulation of digital currencies, while talking about various initiatives to fight the Coronavirus pandemic.
After outlining several solutions the Russian government has come up with, Mishustin said, “Another solution concerns cryptocurrencies.” He added that “This is a relatively new tool, interest in which is constantly growing.”
“The government plans to direct the development of this market in a civilized direction so that the owners of such assets can protect their rights and interests, and the creation of shadow schemes would be difficult,” Mishustin continued.
To be able to achieve this, the prime minister noted “Let’s make a number of changes to the tax code.” He went on to explain:
“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 defend their property rights in court.”
While there have been talks among regulators to consider bitcoin as taxable property, no official decisions were taken. Hence, the nation has seen bitcoin’s legal status vary from court to court. Back in July, St. Petersburg’s Petrogradsky District Court dismissed bitcoin theft as a crime because digital currencies are not regulated in Russia and there is no legal status for bitcoin.
Meanwhile, The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has clarified that “digital rights,” the term currently used to describe coins and tokens in Russian law, can be a subject of bribes, just like regular fiat money, hinting that it can be classified as money and property.
The nation is also to set to regulate cryptocurrencies next year, with an upcoming bill. The latest amendment to that bill came just weeks ago with the nation’s Finance Ministry amending the Criminal and Criminal Procedure Codes of Russia which could see cryptocurrency users imprisoned for up to three years for failing to report cryptocurrency trading and transactions at least twice in three years in amounts that exceed 45 million rubles (~$580,000).