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Russian prime minister promises to tackle digital currency scams

The Prime Minister of Russia has said the government would work to develop digital currency markets in a “civilized direction,” promising to do more to protect the interests of digital currency users while preventing scams.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin made the remarks during a recent government session, in which he said it was a priority for the government to prevent scams, or “shadow schemes” from operating in the digital currency sector.

According to the minister, the Russian tax code will be subject to amendments to defined digital currency assets as a type of property, which will give crypto owners legal recourse for losses arising from illegality.

This follows on from similar remarks made by Russia’s finance minister, with the Ministry of Finance previously highlighting a number of potential changes to the tax code that could benefit crypto users. Among them is a requirement for crypto owners above a certain threshold to be required to report their holdings to the authorities, as well as introducing new penalties for those who fail to comply.

Mishustin was appointed Prime Minister in early 2020, after serving as head of the country’s tax agency for a decade. The comments have been seen to indicate a new direction of travel for the Russian government, which has continued to grapple with digital currency regulation over the past several years.

At the moment, Russia is yet to introduce a detailed framework for digital currency regulation. However, back in summer, President Vladimir Putin signed a new bill into law which regulates digital securities, as well as defining digital currency as a form of property for tax purposes.

Several other bills have been drafted, with laws still under consideration by lawmakers in Russia. The legal picture around digital currency in the country has been confused in recent years by several changes of direction, as legislators grapple with the complex legal issues presented by digital currency regulation.

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