Prosecutor General’s Office Wants to See ‘Cryptocurrency’ in Russian Law

Prosecutor General’s Office Wants to See ‘Cryptocurrency’ in Russian Law

The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation has insisted that the term “cryptocurrency” should be added to the country’s legislation. The move would allow authorities in Moscow to confiscate digital assets that have been involved in criminal activities.

Russian Prosecutor General’s Office Prepares Amendments Allowing Seizure of Cryptocurrency


With cryptocurrencies being only partially regulated through the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” work is underway in Russia to adopt legislation introducing comprehensive rules for the turnover of bitcoin and the like. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has joined these efforts as it wants the term “cryptocurrency” added to the legal texts.

“We have developed amendments to a number of regulatory legal acts so that cryptocurrencies in illegal circulation are not only recognized as а subject of a crime, but there’s also a legal possibility of their arrest and confiscation,” Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Igor Krasnov said in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency.

Russian lawmakers are mulling over other legislative changes to establish a proper legal framework for cryptocurrencies. A number of activities related to digital coins remain outside the scope of the current law, including taxation, mining, and payments, for example.

Calls have been mounting among officials in Moscow to recognize cryptocurrency mining as an entrepreneurial activity and tax it accordingly. At the same time, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) remains opposed to the legalization of digital currencies as a means of payment. The regulator claims these represent “money surrogates” that are banned in Russia.

The monetary authority is currently developing a digital version of the national fiat, insisting that’s exactly what the Russians need. The digital ruble will provide а low cost and reliable payment solution that also protects personal data, the head of the CBR, Elvira Nabiullina, promised in November. Bank of Russia is planning to commence trials for the CBDC in January 2022.

Last month, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office also proposed recognizing cryptocurrency and other virtual assets as property in the country’s Criminal Code. Igor Krasnov explained in the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, that the legal definition will be used in court proceedings.

Krasnov also revealed that his department has already drafted a bill that would regulate the matter and expressed hope that lawmakers would support it. Digital currencies such as bitcoin have been recognized as property under several other Russian acts like the laws on bankruptcy and enforcement proceedings, the anti-money laundering legislation, and the country’s anti-corruption law.

Do you expect Russia to add the term “cryptocurrency” to its legislation? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Central Banks of France, Switzerland and BIS Complete Cross-Border CBDC Trial

Central Banks of France, Switzerland and BIS Complete Cross-Border CBDC Trial

Bank of France, the Swiss National Bank (SNB), and the Bank for International Settlements have successfully tested the application of wholesale central bank digital currency in cross-border payments. The project used distributed ledger technology and was realized with help from private firms.

France and Switzerland Explore Direct Transfer of Euro, Swiss Franc Wholesale Digital Currencies

An experiment carried out by the monetary authorities of France, Switzerland and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has indicated that central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) can be used effectively for international settlements between financial institutions, the participants in the trial announced.

Project Jura, which has been completed recently, focused on settling foreign exchange transactions in euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs as well as issuing, transferring, and redeeming a tokenized euro-denominated French commercial paper between French and Swiss financial institutions, the banks explained.

The trial involved the direct transfer of euro and Swiss franc wholesale CBDCs between commercial banks in France and Switzerland on a single distributed ledger platform operated by a third party and with real-value transactions. It was conducted in collaboration with the private companies Accenture, Credit Suisse, Natixis, R3, SIX Digital Exchange, and UBS.

According to the partners, issuing wholesale CBDCs by providing regulated non-resident financial institutions with direct access to central bank money raises certain policy issues. To address these, they took a new approach, employing subnetworks and dual-notary signing which is expected to give central banks confidence to issue wholesale CBDCs on third-party platforms. Benoît Cœuré, who heads the BIS Innovation Hub, commented:

Project Jura confirms that a well-designed wholesale CBDC can play a critical role as a safe and neutral settlement asset for international financial transactions. It also demonstrates how central banks and the private sector can work together across borders to foster innovation.

“Jura demonstrates how wholesale CBDCs can optimise cross-currency and cross-border settlements, which are a key facet of international transactions,” added Sylvie Goulard, deputy governor of Banque de France.

The wholesale CBDC experiment is part of a series of trials launched by Bank of France last year and a continuation of the testing carried out under SNB’s Project Helvetia. It also contributes to the ongoing work on cross-border payments at G20, the central banks remarked while also noting that it should not be viewed as a plan on their part to issue wholesale CBDCs.

Do you think Bank of France and the Swiss National Bank will eventually issue wholesale CBDCs? Let us know in the comments section below.