Head of Investigative Committee Calls for Mandatory Identification of Cryptocurrency Users in Russia

According to the Russian federal investigating authority, it is not appropriate for cryptocurrency users in Russia to be anonymous. Officials leading the fight against corruption in government demanded additional regulations, including mandatory identification for digital coin users.

Anti-Corruption Official Calls for Rules to Reduce the Risks of Cryptocurrency being Used for Illicit Purposes

Alexander Bastrykin is the head of the Russian Federation’s Investigative Committee. He believes that cryptocurrency users should not be anonymous. In an interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta, the high-ranking official expressed his views.

Bastrykin, an ex-Deputy Prosecutor General from Russia, stated that he had already noticed that the federal law “On Digital Financial Assets” was adopted in July 2020. He said that additional risks could arise when digital currency is used for criminal purposes, especially for financing terrorism or extremism. He elaborated:

The circulation of digital currency therefore requires additional legal regulation. First, it is mandatory that users are identified.

Bastrykin noted that the status of online platforms offering anonymity for cryptocurrency transactions is still to be determined. In the last few years, websites offering crypto exchange services have faced a lot of difficulties with Russian regulators.

The current legislation does not cover digital coin trading. The State Duma is the lower Russian house and has a working group that is preparing regulations to address the remaining issues.

Russia’s principal federal anti-corruption and investigating authority, the Investigative Committee, is subordinated to the Russian president. It is responsible to combat corruption and conduct investigations into federal governmental agencies, local authorities, as well as law enforcement agencies.

President Vladimir Putin signed an August decree to approve the country’s National Anti-Corruption Plan (for 2021-2024). The Russian leader of state directed several ministries and the central banking to inspect officials who are required to reveal their digital assets.

Alexander Bastrykin, speaking to RIA Novosti December 2020, insisted that cryptocurrency be considered property for criminal law and procedure purposes. This is essential for the investigation of criminal cases involving digital currencies. Examples include those of embezzlement and bribery. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office proposed in November 2021 that cryptocurrency be considered property under Russia’s Criminal Code.