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.

Australia to Regulate Crypto Sector as Part of Payments Reform

Australia to Regulate Crypto Sector as Part of Payments Reform

The government of Australia is preparing to comprehensively regulate the activities of cryptocurrency exchanges and custodians. The push is part of a major overhaul, aimed at preserving the country’s sovereignty over its payments system, which will also affect providers like Apple and Google.

Payment Laws in Australia to Cover Crypto Business and Big Tech

Authorities in Australia are gearing up to update the nation’s legislation governing payments in the largest reform of the industry in over two decades. The changes will expand the regulatory framework to encompass new payment processors in the online space including those dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Australia to Regulate Crypto Sector as Part of Payments Reform

In 2022, the government will begin consultations on the establishment of a licensing framework for crypto exchanges and the regulation of platforms holding digital assets on behalf of clients, Reuters reported. Canberra also wants to explore the feasibility of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) issued by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

With a daily number now reaching 55 million, non-cash payments, including crypto transactions, have spiked during the Covid-19 pandemic as many Australians have turned to online options. Close to half of them are using their phones to make payments while in 2021 those transacting in crypto have increased by 63% over the previous year.

Australia’s plan to broaden its payment regulations also aims to cover online transaction processors such as Apple and Google as well as buy-now-pay-later providers like Afterpay. The goal is to put an end to their unsupervised operations in the country. Speaking on the need for the amendments, Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warned:

If we do not reform the current framework, it will be Silicon Valley that determines the future of our payment system. Australia must retain its sovereignty over our payment system.

Google and Apple have so far refrained from commenting on the announcement but a spokesperson for Afterpay has been quoted as stating that the company supports “any approach that takes into account consumer benefits from the innovation and competition Afterpay has brought to the market.” The platform has agreed to a buyout from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Square, Reuters noted.

Australia’s move comes at a time when a number of other major economies are taking steps to determine their regulatory policies regarding financial innovations, including cryptocurrencies. Unlike China and India, for example, Australia is preparing to take a more inclusive approach similar to that of the United States, the report suggests.

Do you think the Australian government will adopt crypto-friendly regulations? Share your expectations in the comments section below.