Russian Political Candidates Will Have to Report Crypto Holdings

A bill before parliament will require candidates to say how much they spent on digital assets during the past three years.

AccessTimeIconMay 19, 2021 at 11:46 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:57 p.m. UTC

The State Duma, a branch of the Russian national parliament, on Monday passed the first reading of a draft bill that requires candidates for political office to report cryptocurrencies they own.

In particular, candidates will need to report spending on cryptocurrencies or other digital assets over the past three years and the source of those funds if the amount spent is more than they and their spouses earned during that period. That information will also need to be included in their regular anti-corruption reports after they get elected, if they do.

The document has two more hearings before it becomes law. According to text published on the parliament's website, the legislation will apply to individuals running for spots in municipal councils and in the national parliament as well as presidential candidates.

The bill follows a slew of initiatives aimed at civil servants owning digital assets. In December, President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order requiring current and prospective government officials to report if they own cryptocurrencies, digital securities and utility tokens. In January, the Ministry of Labor notified officials of federal and local government bodies that they were prohibited from owning cryptocurrency and must have disposed of any holdings before April 1.

There is also a draft bill on the taxation of digital assets, which passed its first hearing in the parliament in February. Under that legislation taxpayers would be required to report receiving crypto worth more than 600,000 rubles ($8,136) per year.


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