Russian FSB and Internal Affairs Want Crypto Firms to Disclose Transaction Details for Criminal Investigations

KEY POINTS

  • Russia’s crypto bill will be in the State Duma in May
  • The Department of Finance has received review scores from various government agencies
  • The Ministry of Finance has reviewed some of the proposals and will include them in the Crypto Bill

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and Interior Ministry (MVD) have submitted their review notes on the country’s upcoming crypto bill, insisting that platforms and companies crypto exchange should disclose transaction data to criminal investigators.

The cryptography bill, which was drafted by Russia’s Finance Ministry, received review scores submitted by the Kremlin Security Service and Police Ministry, according to local newspaper Izvestia, which noted that some proposals had been accepted and others refused.

The Ministry of Finance (MinFin) has reportedly endorsed the FSB’s recommendation to require crypto service providers to disclose transaction details to courts as well as criminal investigators working on digital financial assets. The Home Office, on the other hand, believes the Crypto Bill is incomplete as it lacks the detailed procedure that crypto exchanges should follow when authorities need to freeze accounts or funds in accordance with a court order.

A representation of the cryptocurrency is seen in front of the Russian flag in this illustration taken on March 4, 2022. Photo: Reuters/DADO RUVIC

Additionally, the government unit has proposed the creation of guidelines on the creation of wallets that will be used to store confiscated or seized crypto assets. Russia’s Federal Tax Service (FNS) also drafted a proposal asking the MinFin for strict requirements on unlicensed wallets and crypto exchanges, noting that advertising such services should be considered illegal.

These recommendations would have all been accepted by the Ministry of Finance, but it did not accept the FSB’s suggestion of mandatory transaction on licensed exchanges of all currencies mined as well as the application of the anti-money laundering law. to crypto mining.

Other proposals have not been considered by the Ministry of Finance because the department believes that at this stage of development of the cryptocurrency market in the country, imposing strict regulations would only lead to outflows of investors. and customers. The pending legislation, dubbed the Cryptography Bill, is expected to be tabled in Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, in May.

The Russian Finance Ministry amended the draft crypto law to include provisions on cryptocurrency mining and cryptocurrency trading, the agency said on April 15. Attorney General Igor Krasnov said the country’s digital currency provision should be included in Russian criminal law, stressing that it will help authorities in investigating cases of crypto theft.

Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a report titled “Global Financial Stability,” that Russia could monetize its vast energy resources on crypto-mining ventures as the transcontinental country faces sanctions imposed by various countries.

Moscow was considering cryptocurrency even before the invasion of Ukraine began. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in January that the country has “certain competitive advantages” in cryptocurrency mining.

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