Mikhail Mishustin, the Russian prime minister, raised the subject of cryptocurrencies and the need to protect users during a government session on Thursday, according to a transcript.
Acknowledging the growing interest in this "relatively new tool," Mishustin said the government plans to lead the cryptocurrency market's development in a "civilized direction" so users can better can protect their "rights and interests." This would make it more difficult for fraudulent "shadow schemes" to operate, he said.
The prime minister explained that Russia's tax code will be amended to designate crypto assets as property, meaning owners will be able to seek relief in court if they should fall victim to any illegal activity.
The country's Ministry of Finance has already suggested a range of additions to the tax code, including the obligation to report crypto holdings starting from a certain threshold, as well as legal consequences for those who don't.
Mishustin was appointed the head of the Russian government this spring, after leading the country's federal tax agency for 10 years.
So far, Russia does not have a detailed regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, but President Vladimir Putin signed one of two bills into law in the summer that regulates the issuance of digital securities and mentions cryptocurrency as a type of taxable property.