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Cryptos banned: Russian government officials will no longer own digital currencies

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TL; DR Breakdown

  • Officials in Russia have been prohibited from owning cryptocurrencies.
  • They will also not have foreign accounts.

The Russian government has made an unexpected move to prohibit all government officials from acquiring or owning any type of digital currency (cryptos). According to the directive issued by the country’s Ministry of Labor, not only will officials in government offices stay away from cryptocurrencies, their relatives will do so as well. This means that an official’s spouse or children are not allowed to deal with digital currencies in any form.

This comes days after the Russian authorities decided to remove Binance Exchange from the list of blacklisted entities in the country. The development shows that Russia isn’t entirely indifferent to cryptos, but rather wary of its officials getting involved in shady deals with them.

Fighting corruption

According to Russia’s Ministry of Labor, the decision to ban ownership of digital currencies by Federal officials was an important step towards the fight against corruption within government ranks. The ministry published the announcement on its official website back in December 2020. The Russian government will also undertake an extensive legal reform to prohibit officials from operating accounts in foreign banks.

These restrictions targeting government officials are understandable, especially considering the many corrupt officials who have gotten illicit funds from underhand deals. These officials use foreign accounts and cryptos to launder their loot and hide it from scrutiny.

Dump cryptos by April 1st

However, the Ministry of Labor didn’t require officials to dump their crypto holdings immediately. They have been given until April 1st to convert their digital currencies, if any, into more traceable forms like fiat, stocks or other assets.

By adhering to these new rules, Russian officials and their close relatives will miss crypto trading opportunities especially at a time when a majority of the crypto community is bullish on Bitcoin and other top coins.

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