16.01.2021

Russia Wants to Be Able to Seize Cybercriminals’ Bitcoin

The Ministry of Internal Affairs will be joined by the finance regulator Rosfinmonitoring, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Investigative Committee, the Justice Ministry, the Federal Customs Service, the Federal Security Service and the Supreme Court in developing the proposals.

Russian authorities are seeking legal means to confiscate virtual assets such as cryptocurrencies as they already can with more traditional forms of property.

In an effort to fight cybercrime, the Ministry of Internal Affairs intends to develop legislation allowing law agencies to force criminals to hand over ill-gotten digital gains and wants proposals on the books by December 2021, according to a report from Russian news source RBC Thursday.

Long-awaited regulation addressing crypo assets more generally has been held up in the Russian parliament, further complicating the issue. A legal definition of cryptos, perhaps as commodities or cash-equivalents, is required to allow forfeiture, according to the report. However, the definition being set out in the new rules may not be appropriate in this case.

There are other potential problems down the road for the plan, too. Regulators are aware of the difficulties of confiscating crypto residing in various wallet types protected by both encryption and user passwords, RBC sources said.

Still, authorities believe they may be able to work with exchanges to isolate and freeze funds, said Nikita Kulikov, member of the State Duma’s expert council and founder of PravoRobotov Autonomous Non-Profit Organization.

Additionally, agencies may have to develop their own crypto wallets and find ways to exchange digital assets into fiat. “For these purposes, they can create a state crypto-exchange and crypto-ruble with a stable rate in which they will store the withdrawn funds,” Kulikov said.

While law enforcement moves to become acquainted with cryptocurrency, Russia’s central bank is maintaining indifference. This October, chairwoman of the Bank of Russia Elvira Nabiullina said she saw no pressing reasons to launch a digital ruble following internal research.

Bitcoin News Summary – September 30, 2019

Crypto markets suffered a serious drop this week. Bitcoin led the market downwards, as it slipped below its support level of $10,000. Bitcoin’s falling dominance is perhaps a result of stablecoins holding steady during this market decline.

Binance.US, the American arm of cryptocurrency exchange giant Binance, has announced it is starting trading fiat-crypto and crypto-to-crypto trading pairs this week. The trading platform lists seven cryptocurrencies immediately upon launch; including Bitcoin, Binance coin (BNB), ethereum, XRP, bitcoin cash, litecoin and Tether. Users who already have deposits with Binance.com will not see their funds automatically transferred to the U.S. platform.

The Bakkt Futures exchange, offering futures contracts backed 1:1 with BTC, finally launched last week after much delay. Institutions may now trade Bitcoin on Bakkt, an exchange operated by the same company that runs the New York Stock Exchange. 165 BTC have been traded on Bakkt thus far.

It was reported that by the end of March 2020, over 25,000 French stores will be joining those already accepting Bitcoin. These 30 brands include major international franchises like Foot Locker. The outlets are partnering with EasyWallet and Easy2Play Payment to offer Bitcoin purchases, with all crypto received instantly converted to Euros.

The Digital Exchange of the Stuttgart Stock Exchange now offers Bitcoin trading. Initial trading will be restricted to a few selected participants, with plans to expand it to institutional investors.

coindesk.com

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