Some Russian officials are required to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings, while others are required to have zero cryptocurrencies by April 1. This is all the effect of the new law that came into force.
New law in Russia
Russia passed its cryptocurrency law in January. The problem is that this legislation does not directly answer some questions, including how local officials should handle their cryptocurrency holdings. The unclear regulations show that some only have to declare that they have cryptocurrencies, while others should not have them at all.
Recall that on December 10, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree obliging certain public officials to disclose their cryptocurrency resources by June 30. The decree was adopted as part of the national law “On digital financial assets”.
Under the new law, Russian officials or persons seeking public office must disclose their digital assets, as well as those belonging to their spouse and children.
Only there is another regulation that prohibits some Russian officials from owning any cryptocurrency. On December 28, 2020, the Russian Ministry of Labor and Social Protection released a letter that reminds some public employees that they have to sell their digital financial assets and all digital currencies by April 1, regardless of the country of issue.
This restriction applies in particular to the persons listed in Part 1 of Art. 2 of the Russian Federal Law of May 7, 2013 No. 79-FL, which prohibits certain categories of persons from holding funds abroad, as well as from using foreign financial instruments. The list includes many key public positions, including managerial and deputy heads of public offices and members of the board of directors of the Russian central bank.
While the Russian authorities are still introducing new cryptocurrency regulations for public officials, it is unclear how they will monitor compliance, which is technologically difficult. Cryptocurrencies ensure anonymity, so it will be difficult to prove that a person has, for example, Bitcoins.