The Supreme Court of Russia recently gave recognition to the cryptocurrency industry and classified digital tokens as assets similar to property and money. However, this recognition came in an unusual way.
Russian authorities recognize digital assets as “digital rights,’ and the Supreme Court noted that these assets could be used for illicit purposes like bribing. This indirect recognition of cryptocurrencies as money could pave the way for their legitimization in the country.
Cryptocurrencies can now be included in bribery offense. The Supreme Court suggests,
“In cases where the subject of the bribe is property rights, an official has the opportunity to receive income from the use of uncertified securities or digital rights.”
According to this interpretation, in a corruption case where digital assets are used for bribing, experts will estimate the value of the project. The moment someone transfers digital assets to a person, it will be considered the payment of a bribe. Hence, it could be used as legitimate proof of corruption in courts.
The legality of crypto in Russia
The court based its judgment on an amendment to a resolution that clarified that digital coins and tokens could be termed as “digital rights” under Russian law. The amendments were made to the Civil Code to create space for a digital economy in the nation and included a number of draft laws to govern this sector. However, the final bill is being consistently postponed.
The Russian law
“On Digital Rights” came into force in October this year. In August, they adopted “On Attracting Investments Using Investment Platforms” law.On January 1, they will adopt a new “crowdfunding law” that could also apply to digital currencies. Previously, several courts and institutions characterized digital coins as “money surrogates,” which are considered illegal.
There is no news as to when the Russian authorities will start recognizing digital coins as money fit for making payments. For now, they are charging a flat 13% tax on all gains and incomes made using cryptocurrencies, which includes mining fees and trading profits.