Members of Russia’s lower house of parliament, the State Duma, have passed legislation forcing election participants to register their bitcoin holdings. Candidates must disclose details on their expenditure on digital financial assets and digital currency, according to the Moskovsky Komsomolets daily published on Wednesday. The new legislation will alter the laws governing the election of the President of the Russian Federation, legislators in the Duma, and members of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of parliament, as well as the formation of political parties and efforts to combat corruption.
Financial information will be requested of not only the candidates, but also their spouses and children. They must all declare any cryptocurrency purchases made in the preceding three years if the amount exceeds the family’s total income in the three years before the acquisition. They must also reveal the origins of the funds used in these transactions.
The new law, according to the source, will take effect ten days after it is announced. Its passage comes after another law was passed in February allowing the Russian government to seek the confiscation of illegally gained wealth, including digital assets, from authorities. The restrictions are in response to President Vladimir Putin’s request last year that officials with bitcoin holdings be investigated. Many departments and the Russian Central Bank have to verify the information given by government employees on their income declarations (CBR).
The Russian federal government has begun implementing a new strategy for combating official corruption. President Vladimir Putin of Russia signed an order in 2020 requiring government employees and candidates for public office to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. In the face of growing financial penalties as a result of the crisis in Ukraine, Russia has taken steps to control its crypto space. While the CBR suggested a blanket crypto ban in January, the battle has changed the situation, with recent statements in the Duma reflecting Russia’s desire to restore its access to the global financial sector through cryptocurrencies.
In February, the Ministry of Finance released a new draft law titled “On Digital Currency,” with the purpose of legalising crypto operations rather than setting strict controls. The majority of other Russian organisations and agencies, including the federal government, have now endorsed the department’s regulatory approach, which emphasises tight supervision.