Russian prime minister Mikhail Mishustin has appeared to express support for the further development of the local cryptocurrency market.
At a recent governmental meeting held on Nov. 26, Mishustin proposed the introduction of legal protections for crypto holders in the country in order to contribute to the growth of the new industry.
According to Mishustin, such a framework would develop the industry in a “civilized way so that the owners of such assets can protect their rights and interests,” while at the same time preventing “shadow schemes.”
As part of the plan, Mishustin proposed amending the Russian Tax Code to recognize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as property, stating:
“Let’s make a number of changes to the Tax Code so digital financial assets can be recognized as property, and their owners will be able to count on legal protection in the event of any illegal actions, as well as to defend their property rights in court.”
Mishustin replaced Russia’s former prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in January 2020, whereupon he urged the country to prioritize the development of a digital economy. However, the current status of the local crypto ecosystem remains in doubt because the government is planning to officially ban payments in crypto in January 2021. Russian authorities also want to introduce prison terms for failing to report annual crypto transactions of about $600,000.
Meanwhile, major Russian financial institutions are rushing to launch crypto and blockchain-related services abroad. On Nov. 19, Gazprombank Switzerland, a subsidiary of one of the largest banks in Russia, debuted its Bitcoin transaction service following regulatory approval by Swiss regulators.