Regulator calls for identification of crypto owners in Russia

·1 min read

The head of Russia’s anti-corruption unit has called for all cryptocurrency holders in the country to be identified.

Alexander Bastrykin, chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, says the circulation of cryptocurrencies requires more regulation such as mandatory identification of users.

“I have already noted that in connection with the adoption of the federal law on digital financial assets and digital currency back in July 2020, there may be additional risks of using digital currency for criminal purposes, in particular for financing terrorism and extremism,” he told ministers.

Bastrykin added that the status of online platforms providing opportunities to buy and sell cryptocurrencies anonymously was yet to be determined.

Websites offering crypto exchange services have had a series of run-ins with Russian regulators and judiciary in the past few years, he pointed out.

Cryptocurrency trading is among a number of crypto-related activities that remain outside the scope of the current legislation on digital assets.

A working group set up at the State Duma, is currently working on regulatory proposals to deal with these concerns.

As of January 1 2021, cryptocurrencies were declared ‘allowed’ in Russia – but not to be used as an exchange for goods and services. That means Russians can mine, trade and hold cryptocurrencies – but using them as a payment option is considered illegal.

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