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Downside of legalizing bitcoin? From 2021, Russian officials will be required to declare assets held in cryptocurrency as income

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Putin signs law legalizing Bitcoin & other cryptocurrencies, lifting them out of Russian legal ‘grey-zone’

Prior to the new legislation, virtual assets were in an unregulated ‘grey zone’. With this rule change, Russians will benefit from having the law on their side, the downside being they will no longer be able to keep their assets hidden. Cryptocurrencies will still be prohibited as a means of payment, however, and so won’t be used in shops any time soon.

Earlier this year, a Russian financial institution made international headlines for issuing a loan secured by cryptocurrency for the first time. The loan, issued by Expobank to businessman Mikhail Uspensky, used the currency ‘Waves’ as collateral. While not being classed as money, it was deemed as “other property” and was therefore accepted.

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