Cryptocurrency Is Nothing But Property In Russia Says Justice Minister
Russian Ministry of Justice says cryptocurrency legally falls under the category of ‘other property’. Alexander Konovalov also told the reporters that Russia doesn’t consider crypto coins as electronic money, at least not at such early stage.
When asked about the current legal status of cryptocurrency in the country, Russian legal experts split up into two groups sharing different answers. The first group sees cryptocurrency as something with real value, whereas the second group doesn’t agree with the same unless the Russian law explicitly says so.
The Ministry of Justice warned:
“If digital money is not property, its theft would not be considered criminal offense because there would be no object of the crime.”
According to Konovalov, Russia would have to enforce strict regulations if the crypto market is to develop. However, he’s well aware of the fact that such a phenomenon only shows people’s desire to avoid total dependence on the system.
This question regarding the legal status of cryptocurrency will be answered by the Duma very soon. Konovalov’s recent comments have only added to the ongoing debate among the Russian legal community. This discussion was evoked by a bankruptcy filing last year, where the debtor protested his legal’s representative’s request of including his crypto assets (less than 0.2 BTC at the time) in his bankruptcy estate, during the arbitrage proceedings.
His legal representative, too, said that such a move is not at all possible in a country where the Civil Code has no mention of the term ‘cryptocurrency’. In the end, the Moscow Arbitration Court drew the conclusion that cryptocurrencies are nothing but a set of symbols/characters.
But earlier this month, this ruling was overruled by an arbitration court of appeals, recognizing digital coins as a valuable property.
This question is to be answered very soon, as two drafts have already been filed in the Duma, the lower house of parliament, and the one that focuses on the legalization of ICOs is set to have its first reading on Tuesday.