Russia’s Ministry of Finance Tells Traders to Disclose Crypto Wallets Or Face Fines And Jail

  • Russia’s Ministry proposes criminalization of non-disclosure of cryptocurrency accounts.
  • The proposal further asks for additional regulation in reporting standards.

After introducing an amendment that could see cryptocurrency miners lose all their mining rewards, Russia is once again tightening cryptocurrency regulation. According to a local news release, the Ministry of Finance proposes stricter regulations related to crypto accounts by preparing a package of amendments to the country’s digital asset laws.

The digital asset bill was signed into law by President Putin in July, introducing harsh laws for the crypto industry. The law takes effect on January 2021. The country introduces rules to monitor and take down money laundering, tax evasion, and illicit activities using digital assets.

In the latest batch of amendments, the Ministry plans to introduce criminal penalties for crypto holders who fail to disclose their wallets, transaction history, and balance. The new amendment, if passed, will see all wallets that receive or send 100,000 rubles (~$1,295) in a year report to the authorities.

Failure to report any transactions above 1 million RUB (~$12,925) will attract a penalty of up to 300,000 rubles or six months imprisonment. For unreported transactions totaling above 5 million rubles ($64,625), the jail time could be three years, and additional fines of 500 thousand rubles ($6,462).

The amendment further warns against using crypto for financial crimes such as money laundering, and tax evasion could lead to more severe punishment. The statement further states, over-the-counter (OTC) transaction desks are also mandated to report all transactions in rubles and Russian IP addresses to the authorities.

Foreign cryptocurrency firms – including virtual asset providers such as exchanges – operating in the country are obliged to send quarterly reports on any Russian transactions to the tax authorities.

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