Russia continues its ever-evolving relationship with cryptocurrencies with its latest move. The country has previously been very vocal about their plans to control and regulate the digital currency industry.
Russian President Vladmir Putin has declared July this year as the deadline for a definitive framework for the industry, and his government has even submitted a draft law detailing processes for issuing, taxing, buying and trading virtual currencies.
The country’s Ministry of Labor has released their income, expenses and property declaration guidelines for government employees, and its got an interesting little side note. The framework states that state workers do not have to declare any “virtual currencies” they may have attained.
Government employees already do not have to declare “goods and services in their natural forms”, and now cryptocurrencies form part of that.
A reason for this, according to the ministry’s representative is due to the lack of clear legislation:
“At present, approaches to the definition and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the Russian Federation at the legislative level are not defined.”
According to Russian news portal, Izvestia, some experts believe that this new addendum will increase the level of corruption in the country’s government, a problem that is continuing to grow. Over the last 10 years, state corruption has increased by 30%.
In 2009, it became mandatory for government employees to declare their income. In addition, state workers also have to publicize any gifts of traditional fiat money that they have received from friends of family.
Vladislav Tsepkov, who is part of the Business Against Corruption Center, does not feel as though crypto corruption will be an issue though. The government-created organization aims to protect the rights of entrepreneurs. Tsepkov had this to say:
“But cryptocurrency is not a means of payment, it cannot be spent. If they [government workers] sell it and get real income, then it will need to be declared, so the risks are minimal.”
Even though clear and concrete crypto regulations still need to be approved and adopted, Russia has made no secret of the fact that they are against crypto usage. Authorities have even cautioned investors that they are “high risk”.
They may not be on board with Bitcoin, but Russia definitely sees the potential of Blockchain Technology. The country recently announced that they hope to develop and issue a state-controlled virtual currency known as the CryptoRuble. Some government officials believe that this state-run crypto could be used to circumvent financial sanctions placed on the country.