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Russian Officials Soon Mandated To Declare Their Crypto Holdings

The public officials of Russia will soon be mandated to declare all their respective private crypto holdings. This new legislation will be put into effect at the beginning of 2021.

Mandating Public Officials To Disclose Crypto Assets

These requirements were announced by the office of Russia’s Prosecutor General, Igor Krasnov, on the 20th of October, 2020. This came after a meeting was held with 15 other prosecutor generals, which represented member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO.

Krasnov explained that civil servants of Russia would be mandated to declare their respective virtual currencies, doing so on an equal basis of various other assets. He further highlighted that this would first start next year.

Changing Previous laws Thanks To new Legislation

Back in 2018, the Labor Ministry of Russia made an announcement requiring the exact opposite: Public officials need not declare their respective crypto holdings in their tax reports. However, this was primarily due to the fact that crypto, at that time, was primarily unregulated. Ever since, concerns have been abound that crypto-assets can be easily used by malicious elements for corruption and bribery.

Throughout three years’ time, it’s claimed that more than $440 million in undisclosed, non-crypto assets have been seized from public officials by way of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

These new mandates come as Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, signed new laws in July, which classified crypto assets alongside physical commodities. This classification will come into effect from 2021, which stands as Russia’s first recognition of virtual currencies altogether.

The legislation itself won’t recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender, however. Even so, crypto-related activities will be legitimized across Russia for the first time in its history.

Crypto Slowly Spreading Across The Globe

The SCO member states, India, Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, were joined by non-member partners and observers of the SCO. These non-members, Belarus, Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, observed the gathering, which focused primarily on combating corruption.

With the Russian government announcing these new crypto reporting laws, it suggests that similar laws may be enacted across the Eurasian region soon enough, as well.

Back in August, it was claimed by Russia’s Federal Financial Monitoring Service that it had developed a method to de-anonymize transactions on select cryptocurrencies, at least partially. This includes the two staples, Ether (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC), but it also claims that it managed to do so with Monero (XMR), the ever-popular privacy coin. The regulator even hinted that it’s eager to sell this service to allied nations, hinting that “overseas countries” have shown interest in this system.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.