Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of the country’s legislature, has passed a new bill that will recognize digital currencies as a form of property for tax purposes.
The bill would amend parts of the tax code to take into account the use of cryptocurrency, classing cryptocurrency assets as property. It would bring cryptocurrency holders legal protection and rights in court.
It will also introduce the requirement for citizens to declare receipts or write-offs of cryptocurrency assets exceeding 600,000 rubles ($8,184) annually. However, cryptocurrency will not be a legal means of payment under the proposed change to the tax law.
The government said the proposed bill is out of concern that cryptocurrency is being used for tax evasion, money laundering and other illegal activities.
The bill comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order in December requiring Russian public officials to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings.
Vitalik Buterin on China-US Conflict
In a recent interview, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin said the US-China conflict could provide an opportunity for cryptocurrency to flourish.
In response to a question about how people overestimate or underestimate China, Buterin said that the US impulse to go after Chinese tech companies leaves it vulnerable to other actors.
On America’s aggressive move towards Chinese tech companies, Buterin suggested that the strategy will make the United States “vulnerable to any non-Chinese tech company, or anyone from any other part of the world that’s trying to do exactly the same thing.”
“And this is where crypto comes in because decentralization is the one way that you can credibly convince people that you actually care about trying to protect people,” said Buterin.
He stated that cryptocurrency would be “the winner of a great conflict between whether it’s one state versus another state or states versus corporations.”