According to some reports, Russia's Ministry of Internal Affairs has considered establishing criminal liability for crypto operations that aren't registered. This is according to documents that Izvestia obtained. The interior ministry of Russia has drawn up an amendment of legislation that will only legalize the registered operations that have opensource cryptocurrency. This includes cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Bitcoin and some of the other cryptocurrencies. Legal Transactions For an entity or person to conduct legal transactions through cryptocurrency, they will have to register with the state authorities who will do tax and financial regulation. This initiative comes from the Main Directorate for Drugs Control at Russia's interior ministry. On the 13th of July, Andrey Khrapov, the head at GUKON, made a request that the Ministry of Finance gives their opinions on the realization of legislative measures. Still Too Early While some have believed in the initiative, others think that it's too early for Russian legislature to criminalize cryptocurrency operations. Savva Shipov, the deputy chief at the Ministry of Economic Development, pointed out how no legislation exists to regulate transactions with cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, people or entities could be prosecuted in some cases where the cryptocurrency had been used to traffic drugs or illegal arms. Artem Tolkachev, a CEO at Sputnik DLT, also says that we can't necessarily criminalize cryptocurrency operations at this point because of how it's still too early to tell. A necessary legislation hadn't been established for the industry at the time. Tolkachev also spoke about how while cryptocurrency remains in somewhat of a "gray zone" in Russia, plenty of Russian authorities have raised these initiatives ever since 2015. They have the hope to criminalize crypto trades, but they haven't established a legal grounds to do it. What impact could such an initiative have? Most legal experts believe that Russian cryptocurrency projects will simply find a different jurisdiction if they passed it. Many of the large cryptocurrency firms already work using a foreign setup. The bill set to criminalize unregistered cryptocurrency trades in Russia has so far only been approved by the first of three readings. It still has a long way to go.
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