Russian candidates to declare digital currency holdings after new bill passes

Election candidates in Russia will have to disclose their digital currency holdings, as well as that of their families. This is after the State Duma adopted a new bill that seeks to dig into aspiring public officials’ digital currency holdings in its first reading. The bill still has to go through two readings before proceeding to the upper house.

The new law was proposed by the Russian government in its latest effort to rein in the country’s digital currency industry. If adopted, it will require candidates running for government positions to reveal the amount of money they have invested in digital currencies in the three years prior. In addition, their family members, including their children, must also declare their digital currency holdings.

The rule will apply only in cases where the amount invested in the digital currencies in that time exceeds the total income the candidate has received. In such cases, the candidate must provide a detailed report on the source of the income he used to finance his digital currency purchases.

As local outlets report, the new law will amend two federal acts—the law on “electing deputies of the State Duma” and “the law on electing the president of the Russian Federation.” They’ll also touch on other laws related to voting rights.

Even more significantly for digital currency holders, it will amend the ‘bill on digital financial assets’ which took effect in January 2021. This law defined the legal status of a digital currency while prohibiting its use as a payment means.

If the new proposed law is adopted, it will take effect before the next elections, ushering in a new era of digital currency transparency in Russia. United Russia, President Vladimir Putin’s party, enjoys dominance in both houses and with its backing, the bill is likely to sail through and be adopted in time for the September 19 State Duma elections.

The Russian government has been consistent in calling out the use of digital currencies in criminal activities. Two months ago, President Putin called on the country’s law enforcement agencies to monitor the increasing criminal use of digital currencies. He cited cross-border transfers as one of the sectors that are riddled with digital currency crime.

In December 2020, Putin also signed into law an order that requires all public officials to disclose their digital currency holdings.

See also: CoinGeek Live panel, Digital Currency & Global Compliance: Tools & Tips for Exchanges, Wallets & Other Service Providers

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