RUSSIA'S SUPREME COURT RULES BITCOIN IS A LAUNDERING TOOL

HomeNewsRUSSIA'S SUPREME COURT RULES BITCOIN IS A LAUNDERING TOOL

In January 2019, the Supreme Court of Russia introduced the concept of 'cryptocurrency' in the 2015 ruling on cases of money laundering and property acquired by criminal means. This means that the articles of the Criminal Code on the legalisation of criminal revenue should be extended to the virtual currency, the court clarified.

Earlier, RosFinMonitoring (a financial intelligence service) drew attention to the vulnerability of economy due to the lack of regulation in the field of virtual currencies. As the financial security service specialists explain, the legal status of virtual assets remains undefined today in Russia: they are de facto treated as property and get identified in monetary terms.

At the same time, law enforcement agencies have the practice of identifying and investigating crimes committed with the use of crypto-assets in settlements for drugs. Thus, according to RosFinMonitoring, in 2017–2018, police investigated 104 such criminal cases.

The media reports say the government is discussing the issue of imposing criminal liability for the shadow activities in cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, legalising of the operations in digital assets may happen through a registration with state bodies responsible for financial and tax regulation.