In Tatarstan, a republic of the Russian Federation, the prosecutor’s office has “warned [a] businessman against violation of the law in connection with [his] installation of terminals for the exchange of cryptocurrencies.” The cryptocurrency ATMs in question had been installed in Kazan, the republic’s capital.
At the Start of the Month, Russian Media Reported That Bitcoin ATMs Had Been Installed in Two Locations in Kazan
The installation of the ATM’s prompted investigations into the terminals on the part of local authorities. The prosecutor’s office of Tatarstan has revealed several determinations that the institution has made regarding the bitcoin ATMs, including that the terminals are owned by a “34-year-old local businessman,” and that the terminals “were installed by a company registered in Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan.” Officials added that the investigations into the terminals are still ongoing.
The prosecutor’s office stated: “During the audit, the prosecutor’s office announced to the businessman an official warning about the inadmissibility of violation of the law. Simultaneously, the information was sent to the Office of the Federal Tax Service for the Republic of Tatarstan to conduct a check for possible violation of cash discipline and other violations of tax legislation, as well as to the prosecutor’s office in Ufa… to assess the legality of the activities of the tenant.”
Local Authorities Are Still Investigating the ATMs
Despite the Tatarstan prosecutor’s office warning the owner of the cryptocurrency terminals, the office stated that “the legal status of cryptocurrency in the Russian Federation is not defined.” The office did, however, state that “the provision by Russian legal entities of services for exchanging “virtual currencies” for rubles and foreign currency, as well as for goods (work, services) is considered as potential involvement in the implementation of questionable transactions in accordance with the legislation on combating the legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime, and the financing of terrorism.”
In recent days, Russia’s Minister of Communications and Mass Media, Nikolai Nikiforov, expressed his belief that “Russian law will never consider bitcoin as a legal entity in the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation.” Despite such, it is anticipated that Russia’s upcoming cryptocurrency regulations will be permissive toward bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining. Russia’s deputy finance minister, Alexei Moiseev, recently stated that the country’s cryptocurrency bill “should be formulated by February 1 in the framework of the president’s mandate.”