Business 19 July 2018

Gerald Fenech

Russia tightens regulation for cryptocurrency miners, investors

The cryptocurrency sector is about to get regulated in Russia, according to Russian news outlet Izvestiya. In fact, it appears that crypto miners and investors will soon be regulated under the Internal Revenue Code, which is quite draconian and practically places cryptocurrencies into the arms of taxman.

Anatoly Aksakov, chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, told Izvestiya that legislators are considering the passage of a bill on digital financial assets, also known as cryptocurrencies, during the autumn session of the Duma. Russia has been quite friendly to the cryptocurrency space in general, but has been outpaced by jurisdictions such as Malta which already has a legislative framework in place for digital assets.

Aksakov revealed that the bill will not include separate taxation schemes for cryptocurrency owners. In effect, this means that mining and the circulation of cryptocurrencies will continue to be regulated under the Russian Tax Code. This also means that currencies will effectively be considered as assets.

The lawmaker specified that individuals engaged in the circulation of virtual currencies will pay personal income tax, while legal entities will have to pay taxes in accordance with their type of business. He told Izvestiya that separate taxation schemes for mining and circulation of cryptocurrencies may be considered in the future if the government finds it necessary.

“If they want to determine [tax rates] for these types of businesses separately, they will. We are not addressing tax issues in any way so far,”Aksakov said, according to the news outlet.

The Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work said in May that it’s backing the first reading of will support the first reading of an initiative to establish norms for the digital economy in the Russian Federation Civil Code, in a bid to “minimize the existing risks of using digital objects for transferring assets into an unregulated digital environment for legalization of criminal incomes, bankruptcy fraud or for sponsoring terrorist groups.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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