According to the Russian Forbes, the Russian bank Sberbank (which is the country’s largest) has requested a client to provide details on the income they get from cryptocurrencies.
Vladimir Smerkis, who co-founded the cryptocurrency trading and exchange platform tokenbox.io, communicated to Forbes portal that the client in question (who remains anonymous so far) had a letter delivered from Sberbank in which the institution asked him to disclose his revenues originated from digital assets.
The request is based, according to the bank, in Russia’s Federal law number 115 known as “On Combating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing.” The irregular factor in the scenario is that this client claims to have already given the bank all the information regarding its cryptocurrency income.
More definitely, the bank wanted to be aware of the client’s cryptocurrency wallet’s address. Also, the mining tool the client uses to mine digital coins (Bitcoin, presumably) described to the last detail (model, technical specifications, hash rates, the whole nine yards).
If all the above requests weren’t intrusive enough the bank also wanted all the documentation that confirms the ownership (or rental) of the mining hardware, as well as of the premises in which the mining farm is set up. Sberbank confirmed all the information, Forbes informs.
Smerkis expressed is dismay over the Russian’s bank attitude:
“We are very much perturbed by how Sberbank can appeal to terms that do not yet exist in Russian law.”
Another Russian crypto personality, Artem Tolkachev (CEO and founder of Tokenomica, a regulated decentralized exchange) said that there’s nothing new about Sberbank’s demands because traditional financial institutions “operate within their regulatory framework for handling cash. So it is a way of legally introducing cryptocurrency revenues into circulation.”
The news comes as a stark contrast to declarations issued by Dimitry Medvedev, Russia’s prime minister, who declared only a couple of weeks ago that the regulation of cryptocurrencies is not a primacy for the government of Russian because the cryptosphere has lost a lot of its popularity in the country recently.
Medvedev remarked that crypto had its fair share of attention one year ago, during May 2018, when he pressed for the government to create national legislation that could, at least, be useful in dealing with some of the most essential things in crypto. On that occasion, the minister finished by saying that while the BTC hype has diminished, the rest of the crypto market could still rally.
That prompted the creation of Russia’s first legislative effort towards cryptocurrencies “On Digital Financial Assets” which was promulgated by the Russian parliament’s lower house in May last year.
But it wasn’t an effective effort because the Duma discarded it after the first reading and sent it back. The issue was that critical notions such as “cryptocurrency mining” were not clearly defined within the law. So crypto remains in the legal limbo of Russia.
The mixed information provided by Forbes leaves unanswered an important question. Does the bank have the legal right to ask such information from clients? Is the client legally obligated to provide such intrusive information to this bank in particular? This, as well as many other questions in Russia, are quite murky and remain a mystery in the West.
Disclaimer: Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (TronWeekly.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.