According to Crowdfund Insider, Andrey Khrapov, the head of Russia’s Directorate for Drug Trafficking, has proposed a new law that mandates the compulsory reporting of cryptocurrency transactions that exceed 600,000 rubles ($9,000). Khrapov also wants such transactions to be registered and monitored by the appropriate financial regulatory bodies.
Local news media outlet Izvestia reports that Khrapov has submitted his proposal to the country’s Finance Ministry for approval. The Directorate for Drug Trafficking head believes that a cap on unmonitored cryptocurrency transactions will aid in the fight against money laundering. According to Khrapov, the most significant risk of crypto-enabled criminal activities is the exchange of virtual currencies for fiat currencies.
Reports in the local media suggest that the Finance Ministry agrees with Khrapov’s proposal and has offered its endorsement. However, Savva Shipov, the country’s deputy minister of economic development, believes the move is premature, saying,
“It is too early to talk about criminal prosecution for actions related to the circulation of crypto-currency.”
Shipov prefers a situation in which such measures are considered after the country develops an effective regulatory framework for the virtual currency market.
Cryptocurrency in Russia
In a related development, the first draft of the proposed cryptocurrency regulatory framework for the country is reportedly making its way through the State Duma. According to preliminary reports, the set of regulations in its present format provides protection and legal definition for virtual currencies in Russia. Another significant aspect of the rules being considered is the introduction of mandatory know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) protocols for all cryptocurrency transactions.
While Khrapov remains wary of the use of virtual currencies for criminal activities in Russia, a recent survey has shown that less than half of the country is even aware of Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
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