Vladimir Putin. Source: a video screenshot, Youtube, TASS
The Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his government and the Central Bank to prepare a system that will force individuals to declare their crypto holdings.
Per INC-News, Putin has told the bank chiefs, as well as the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Labor, to report back to him on their proposals for “verifying the accuracy and completeness of information” on the “ownership of digital financial assets, other digital property and digital currency” by November 15 – and it appears that the President is seeking a joint report, with the finance ministry leading the project.
Putin’s plan is part of the wider “National Anti-Corruption Plan for 2021-2024” – a presidential decree that the head of state signed into law earlier this month. The plan involves placing civil servants under increased scrutiny by forcing them to report on their income and expenses. A number of public officials and private sector individuals are thought to have substantial crypto holdings – a fact that Putin wants to stamp out.
Corruption is rife in Russia, particularly in the public arena, but also in other walks of life – and Putin has attempted to declare war on this with his new measures, the crypto-specific parts of which should come into force by September 2023, per the decree’s roadmap.
Last year, Russia ranked 129 out of 180 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ratings – the lowest ranking in Europe. Russia scored just 30 out of 100, with the top-placed nations (Denmark and New Zealand) scoring 88. The lowest-ranked nation was Somalia, with just 12.
Enforcement of these measures will be another matter, however.
However, Russian regulators have previously claimed that they are already arming themselves with tools that could help them do just that. Last year, the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (known locally as Rosfinmonitoring), the government agency that fights money laundering and terrorism funding, reportedly developed a prototype for an AI-powered platform that can “partially” de-anonymize crypto transactions and other related data.
Rosfinmonitoring reportedly believes that its solution works not only for tracing bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), omni (OMNI) and dash (DASH) users, but also for people making transactions using the privacy coin monero (XMR).
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