Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said in a recent speech that the country’s government will soon roll out regulations to protect Bitcoin users, as per a meeting transcript published this week.
Mishustin acknowledged the burgeoning use of cryptocurrencies in Russia but stated stricter measures would be enforced in the coming years to protect citizens against frauds, scams, and other dubious schemes.
He said, “this is a relatively new tool, interest in which is constantly growing, and the government plans to direct the development of this market.”
The proposed regulations aim to ensure cryptocurrencies move in a more “civilized direction,” similar to how traditional markets operate. This would also help cut out malicious activity from taking precedence over legitimate, everyday usage of cryptocurrencies while protecting the “rights and interests” of Russian citizens, noted Mishustin.
Mishustin added citizens can soon expect a reformation of the Russian tax code, including new laws and changes to existing guidelines about how cryptocurrencies are recognized (as property) in the country.
Such laws would mean crypto users would be empowered and eligible to report any illegal activity in a Russian court and receive a fair trial. “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,” said Mishustin.
The call for such regulations comes as Russia weighs its options over regulating the crypto sector.
The country has previously drafted bills that outlawed the purchase, mining, and usage of cryptocurrencies, even proposing hefty fines of $13,000 or up to seven years in prison for those found guilty. However, such bills were met with strong criticism and were eventually never passed.
As of today, the Russian government legally recognizes the possession of cryptocurrencies only if such “digital assets” are inherited by an individual or received as proceedings in the course of bankruptcy.
But new regulations could spell a silver lining for local users.