Cryptocurrencies has stirred the pot and continue to do so till this day. Some people are getting used to them, while others are still against them. Governments don't really know what to do, some countries are welcoming crypto enthusiasts, others are trying to chase them away, by setting high taxes. We know people moving to another country because the law is favorable to them.
I've been following the evolution of crypto taxation in different countries to see how things evolve and the trend is to tax crypto. Russia however took a drastic decision that is far from what one would expect.
Some Russian public officials have to disclose their crypto holdings, while other officials are obliged to hold zero crypto by April 1, according to a new law. source
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree according to which some public officials or individuals seeking to hold public office have the obligation to disclose their crypto holdings, as well as those of their spouse and children. The deadline for that is June 30, 2021.
Things are a little bit confusing as there is also another regulation in place that prohibits certain Russian officials from owning any kind of cryptocurrency.
This restriction specifically refers to individuals listed in Part 1 of Article 2 of the Russian Federal Law from May 7, 2013 No. 79-FL, which prohibits certain categories of persons to store their funds abroad as well as use foreign financial instruments. The list includes a broad number of key public positions, including running and deputy positions in public office, the board of directors of the Russian central bank, public corporations owned by the Russian Federation, heads of district administrations and several others. source
Individuals on the other hand are allowed to hold crypto and looks like the Ministry of Finance has proposed new amendments to the country’s coming law on crypto assets that could soften the requirements for cryptocurrency taxpayers. Individuals have the obligation to report their crypto holdings in case the annual transactions exceed 600,000 Russian rubles (about $7,800). The previous proposal set the threshold to 100,000 rubles (around $1,300) in one year.
I find this law discriminating to say the least. I understand if you hold a certain position, you're not allowed to hold another because there may be conflict of interest, but this is different. You hold or trade crypto and pay taxes, just like anybody else, regardless of you position. If you fail to play by the rules, you pay the fine or go to jail, depending on the seriousness of your acts and the legislation regulating these criminal acts, regardless of what position you're in or what you do.
Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay
I guess I'm asking to much as we're talking about a country where opposition candidates go missing from one day to another, get shot or hit by a car, go to jail for something they didn't do, get poisoned etc. Freedom of speech is just another word in the dictionary, protesters are jailed and tortures.
I was wondering how on earth will legislators change the law and adopt cryptocurrencies in the future, when they have adopted a law against themselves, prohibiting themselves from holding crypto. Or wait, was it them or someone else? Hmmm, good question :)
Countries That Have The Most Bitcoin HODLers
I thought I'd run a search to see where Russia stands regarding the number of crypto holders and surprise, surprise!
This is the list of the countries that have the most Bitcoin HODLers. The US I understand, kinda was expecting to see it on the list up high, but to see my country place second, that's a huge surprise.
According to the article, we have a large number of international firms and businesses in the IT sector and a high number of freelance programmers and developers. This is the reason Romania is one of the countries that score high among others that hodl cryptos.
Russia is not on the list and Portugal, the most favored country by crypt hodl-ers at the moment is not on the list. The article doesn't have posting date, but after looking at the meta, I found out that it's from November 2020.
BTC-e was a cryptocurrency trading platform, founded in July 2011 by Alexander Vinnik. As of February 2015, BTC-e handled around 3% of all Bitcoin exchange volume. Then the U.S. government seized their website for operating an alleged international money laundering scheme and allegedly laundering funds from the hack of Mt. Gox.
Billions of bitcoin and other digital currencies had been swapped since BTC-e's creation six years prior. But that was before one of its alleged founders, Aleksandr Vinnik, was arrested on a Greek beach in 2017 on a U.S. arrest warrant. The following year, Special Counsel Robert Mueller revealed precise evidence in alleging how Russia's military intelligence agency used bitcoin transactions to mask meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. source
Sooooo .... this is interesting. Forbidden to some, while others ... :)
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