A ruling was passed by a Russian court earlier this month, officially classifying Bitcoin as a “valuable property.”
The court ruled in favor of the petitioner, Ilya Tsarkov, who asked the court to give his financial manager access to his cryptocurrency wallet in order to restore a bankruptcy estate.
However, this was an indirect recognition of digital wallet. Russian legislation does not provide a final definition of cryptocurrency and this particular judgment sets a precedent which recognizes the potential use of digital assets in contractual agreements.
This ruling caught the attention of international media and the Russian lawmakers alike. Russian politicians have come out in public and recognized the necessity to draft laws to expand regulatory jurisdiction in this dynamically developing field.
Minister of Justice in Favor of the Judgment
Russia’s Justice Minister, Alexander Konovalov, admitted to reporters that he is on the legal side of the aforementioned ruling that cryptocurrencies fall under the category of “other property.” He also stated that there is an increasing need to consider digital assets as “electronic money.”
Adding to the growing conversation on crypto-centric legislation, Konovalov said:
“If cryptocurrencies are to develop, additional regulation will be necessary. The main point is to ensure that all this does not grow into financial pyramids,”
However, Konovalov seems caught up in a paradox. He is certain that Russia should establish stern crypto regulations but also understands that this situation is itself a “manifestation of the people’s desire to escape from total dependence.”
Duma’s Pending Judgments
A few days ago, the Duma began the task of talking through a charter that would require cryptocurrency operators to register with authorities for approval which is similar to how Japan issues licenses to exchanges. The need for this law was triggered by a movement inside the Duma whose focus is to ensure customer protection from scams and pyramid schemes.
However, the legislation around cryptocurrencies is easier said than done. There are two draft laws on the matter still pending in Duma state. The first bill, which focuses on ICOs, had its first hearing on May 22. The second bill focuses on amending the country’s civil code in order to regulate crypto payments.
Although the recent comments by Konovalov seem optimistic, we still have to wait and see what the Duma decides in the coming months.