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Putin Says Russia Must Stop Illegal Cross-Border Crypto Transfers

Russia's President Putin says crypto use by "criminal elements" is increasing and law enforcement must monitor it more closely.

Mar 17, 2021 at 5:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:28 p.m. UTC

Russian President Vladimir Putin called for closer attention to the illicit use of digital assets during his meeting with the attorney general's office on Wednesday.

Putin said Russia needs to "take additional measures to prevent illegal cross-border transfers of digital assets," according to the transcript published on the president's official website.

"Criminal elements are using digital assets more and more often, and this what you should pay closer attention to, together with your colleagues from other law enforcement agencies, including Rosfinmonitoring," Russia's anti-money laundering agency, Putin said.

Russia's law on digital assets was signed in July and took effect in January 2021. It describes how digital tokens run by centralized entities must be issued. It also designates decentralized cryptocurrencies as property, which must be reported for tax purposes.

Russian civil servants have been explicitly banned from owning crypto, according to the order issued by the country's Ministry of Labour in January.

The legal guidelines regarding crypto-related services has proven inconsistent in Russia, with the courts occasionally banning crypto-related websites, including the popular cryptocurrency exchange Binance.

Russia's central bank, in the meantime, has been actively exploring the prospect of launching a CBDC.

Russia's civil activists, including the prominent opposition leader Alexey Navalny. have been using cryptocurrencies to function as a way of circumventing assets being held in frozen bank accounts.

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