The Ministry of internal Affairs of the Russian Federation considers possibility of introduction of criminal liability for illegal circulation of cryptocurrency and open source such as bitcoin or Ethereum. This follows a letter from the chief of the Main Department on control over drug trafficking (GUNK MIA) Andrey Khrapov to the Ministry of Finance dated 13 July, according to “Izvestia”.

Establishing criminal liability for illegal circulation of cryptocurrency is part of a broader initiative of the MIA for the adjustment of legislation concerning the legalization of the trafficking of digital assets. According to security officials, this must be done “with mandatory registration in the state bodies carrying out financial and tax regulation”.

In his letter to the Finance Ministry head Khrapov asked to Express an opinion on the implementation of these measures and the appropriateness of such legislative changes.

The Ministry of Finance in its response, noted that in may in the first reading adopted a draft law “On digital of financial assets”, which defined the status of the digital technologies used in the financial sector. In addition, the document gives definition digital of financial assets, including bitcoin and tokens.

Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak recalls that the draft law expressly provides that digital financial assets are not legal tender in the territory of the Russian Federation, and the ruble is compulsory remains the only legal tender. The project also provides the opportunity for transactions to exchange tokens for rubles or foreign currency.

As noted in the letter of the Ministry of Finance, held the first reading of the draft law provides for the possibility to conduct exchange transactions only through “exchange operators digital of financial assets” subject to the necessary procedures of identification. This is done in order to reduce the risks of owners digital of financial assets and to ensure compliance with the requirements of the legislation of the Russian Federation on counteraction to laundering of criminal proceeds and financing of terrorism.

In preparing a bill for consideration in the second reading also the issue about the establishment of a mandatory control of the operations on the exchange of crypto currency for rubles or foreign currency in the amount equal or exceeding 600 thousand rubles or equivalent in foreign currency. According to the Finance Ministry, these measures will improve the effectiveness of identification procedures in respect of digital assets and mitigate risks in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism.

In a letter to the Ministry of Finance also noted that the main risks of legalization of proceeds of crime and the use of scriptaction for illegal or criminal purposes may occur primarily at the stage of conclusion of scriptaction in Fiat.

Based on above, the Ministry of Finance believe that the determination of measures of responsibility for violation of the procedure for transactions with scriptactive must be considered subject to the provisions on the revision of the bill. At the moment the status of cryptocurrencies has not yet been determined, said the Agency.

Deputy Minister of economic development, Savva Shipov, meanwhile, believes that before talking about attracting to criminal responsibility for acts relating to trafficking in cryptocurrency, you must first build a positive regulation.

“Do not clear the subject of the alleged offence. The subject independent of the offense associated with trafficking in cryptocurrency at the moment, — said Savva of Thorns. — If the cryptocurrency acts as a means of payment from the trafficking of weapons, drugs, or other goods the circulation of which establishes criminal liability in these cases, to prosecute for the use of cryptocurrencies right now, and it can only go about refining existing formulations”.

We will remind, in June the head of the Duma Committee on financial market Anatoly Aksakov said that the draft laws “On digital of financial assets”, “crowdfunding” and “On amendments to the RF civil code” regulating the cryptocurrency market in Russia will be rewritten in accordance with the unified approach. In particular, they will disappear the concept of “cryptocurrency”, “digital” and “digital currency”.

Earlier on request ForkLog experts have analyzed these bills, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.

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