Previously in July this year, Russian courts were debating on whether cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and others were legitimate assets. This debate sparked after two people threatened a crypto owner not only with violence but pretending to be part of the Federal Security Service and claiming that they have opened a case against him.
The victim ended up transferring 5 million rubles and 99.703 in bitcoin and another amount in tokens to the criminal digital wallets.
The criminals were apprehended and the cash was returned to its owner as part of the conviction. However, there was no rule about the crypto transferred since cryptocurrencies had no legal status at that time.
Today, with all the news about the value of not only bitcoin but the traction that other cryptocurrencies are also having, it’s incredible to think that crypto is not considered as property. Some countries have provided some legal framework for cryptocurrencies, like the payment of taxes in the USA. In this case, and after this criminal precedent, Russia has finally admitted that cryptocurrencies can be subject to bribes, the same as fiat money, property and other assets.
In Russia, cryptocurrencies are referred to, legally, as “digital rights”. Despite this step forward towards accepting crypto as part of the citizens’ daily life, Russia is yet to legalize and regulate cryptocurrencies and their main legal institutions still consider them “money surrogates” which are banned by Russian law.
By Mickael Mosse, crypto and blockchain advisor.