In the run up to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang (South Korea), Russian lawmakers have suggested criminalizing the issuance, circulation, and use of “cryptocurrency surrogates” — a new kind of cryptocurrency that the government wants to ban.

In a move which could have far-reaching consequences, the Russian State Duma has moved to make it illegal to own or possess digital currencies, with a draft bill calling for the creation of a state cryptocurrency initiative. The proposed amendments would prohibit trading and mining of cryptocurrencies, and make it a criminal offense for individuals to do so.

Russian lawmakers prepare legal amendment to confiscate crypto

Russian lawmakers are working on new legislation that would allow the government to seize cryptocurrencies, a senior official said.

Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov said the government is drafting a series of amendments to the country’s criminal code that will allow authorities to seize cryptocurrencies that originate from illegal activities, local news agency TASS reported.

Speaking at a conference of European prosecutors on Wednesday, Krasnov pointed out that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) are increasingly used for corruption and bribery. According to the official, cryptocurrencies are also a tool to launder misappropriated budget funds.

Criminal use of cryptocurrencies is a serious problem in our country, Krasnov said. He said Russia’s Digital Financial Assets Act (DFA) has played a crucial role in tackling this problem, but new amendments to the Criminal Code will provide additional protection. This would allow for the application of restrictive measures and the seizure of virtual assets, Krasnov said.

According to some local industry experts, there is no legislation that would allow the government to actually seize crypto assets. Nikita Soshnikov, former senior partner at Deloitte CIS and director of Alfacash, told Cointelegraph that it is clear that digital assets stored in wallets cannot be captured like any other type of asset. However, there is already a historic case in which FSB officers were found guilty of taking bribes and the court officially seized 0.1 and 4.70235 BTC for the state, he said.

According to Soshnikov, Russia has begun drafting proposals to seize cryptocurrencies as early as 2019, several years before the DFA law is passed. The Attorney General’s Office remains a key stakeholder in this project and in this context, the current announcement is merely a confirmation of the agreed plans, he added.

Related: Russian authorities are considering partially lifting the ban on cryptocurrency payments.

Krasnov previously served as deputy chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee and became the country’s prosecutor general in early 2020. Since his appointment, Mr. Krasnov has been a staunch opponent of cryptocurrencies. Last year, he said cybercrime in Russia is often committed using cryptocurrencies and has increased 25-fold since 2015. In October last year, Krasnov said Russian officials would be required to report crypto assets in the same way as other assets.

Krasnov’s renewed efforts to fight cryptocorruption in Russia come months after US President Joe Biden’s administration imposed sanctions on him for his prosecution of Russian opposition leader and corruption fighter Alexei Navalny.

According to local investigations, Krasnov himself has been involved in corruption-related controversies.

bitcoin exploitcrypto skepticsbitcoin double spend exploitbitcoin skepticismbitcoin lawsuitbitcoin miner shortage,People also search for,Privacy settings,How Search works,bitcoin exploit,crypto skeptics,bitcoin double spend exploit,bitcoin skepticism,bitcoin lawsuit,bitcoin miner shortage,dsd crypto,grayscale crypto