18 Jan 2022 · 3 min read

Crypto Anonymity Must End, States Top Russian Policymaker

Anatoly Aksakov. Source: video screenshot, Marina Petrova / YouTube 

 

The Chairman of the State Duma (the Russian parliament)’s Committee on Financial Markets Anatoly Aksakov has insisted that crypto users in the country should be unmasked – and that crypto anonymity should become a thing of the past.

Speaking to DumaTV, Aksakov, who is the de facto deal-broker between pro-business forces in the government and the decidedly anti-crypto Central Bank, warned that “unqualified investors” have already spent millions of dollars worth of their money “investing” in tokens, but warned:

“They stand to lose everything because there is no collateral [underpinning] these digital currencies.”

This, he noted, was a factor that makes “[financial] pyramids [schemes] a possibility” in the crypto world.

Aksakov stated that crypto users must enjoy certain “rights” – but added that these must come at the cost of anonymity. He said:

“Therefore, it is important to regulate the market, and to protect our citizens first and foremost. We must also establish a system of taxation, as well as certain rights for cryptocurrency owners. However, [crypto users and their holdings] must be identified.”

The committee head stated that forcing people to declare their holdings would ensure that “among other things,” tokens would not be used to “finance terrorism, fund drug trafficking and used in the purchase of weapons.”

Aksakov noted that “big fluctuations” are commonplace in crypto, adding that “the price of a cryptoasset [frequently] moves by 20-30% in one direction or the other.”

However, much has been said about crypto in the world of Russian politics, but thus far very little has actually been done about it. To date, just one piece of crypto-related legislation has been promulgated: a decree outlawing the use of crypto in payments.

Legal definitions of cryptoassets, blockchain technology and crypto mining are still yet to materialize.

Late last month, the State Duma’s Vice Speaker Alexey Gordeev – the head of a joint government-Duma-Central Bank-crypto industry crypto working group – stated that creating legal terminology for the crypto sector would be the group’s primary target.

Crypto mining is another pressing matter in Russia, with energy providers concerned that miners are placing an inordinately high level of stress on their grids. The government has responded by allowing providers to identify suspected miners and charge them at higher rates accordingly.

Some miners have even welcomed the idea of legalizing their industry, even if it means they will have to pay tax on their earnings and pay higher electricity rates.

Aksakov also had words for the mining community, claiming that the industry “must be clearly defined.”

He stated:

“If we allow mining, then it must be [regulated officially], it must be determined that this is a business that is included in the register of the Federal Tax Service. And the taxation of mining should be made legally explicit. In addition, [miners] should pay energy tariffs at business rates. These are not tariffs for the general population, they are rates for businesses.”

Despite Aksakov’s comments, no further progress on the matter is likely ahead of the working group’s next meeting – slated for some time next month. The group will need to navigate the impasse between the Central Bank, which favors an absolute ban on crypto-related activities, and big business representatives, who favor tokenization drives.

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Learn more:
- Time to ‘Resolve All Crypto Issues’ Says Russian Parliament
- Russia Still No Closer to Regulating Crypto Despite Central Bank ‘Concession’

- Russia: Total Ban on Crypto Ownership Still on Table, Says Top Official
- Russian Provinces Free to Make Crypto Miners Pay Higher Electricity Rates, Says Gov’t

- Bitcoin & Crypto Mining in 2022: New Locations, Technologies, and Bigger Players
- Bitcoin Mining Hash Rate to Double in 2022, Compute North CEO Predicts