Courts in Russia are hearing a growing number of cases related to crypto assets, a new study has shown. About two-thirds of them were initiated under the provisions of the country’s Penal Code, but civil cases also account for a large portion.
Cryptocurrency-related criminal cases in Russia close to 1,000 in 2021
Lawsuits related to cryptocurrencies, digital asset trading, and coin minting have seen a significant increase in Russia over the course of the past year, reaching a total of 1,531. The number comes from research by cybersecurity firm RTM. Group and cited by Izvestia this week.
Most of these, 954 cases, were initiated under various articles of the Russian Criminal Code, the daily wrote on Friday. Another quarter of the processes, 365, are civil cases, almost one in 10 (141) is a bankruptcy, and 5% (71) are administrative cases, the article details.
The authors of the study note that cryptocurrency appears most often in criminal cases related to drug trafficking, as those behind such businesses would like their payments to remain anonymous: 738 such cases were filed last year. Type. Other criminal proceedings include the laundering of illicit funds using digital currencies.
Claims against unjust enrichment through crypto transactions make up the majority of civil law disputes (42 cases). A common scenario is when a person transfers money to a third party to buy cryptocurrencies, but then receives less than the expected or agreed amount.
Meanwhile, the number of bankruptcy cases related to cryptocurrency ownership has doubled in 2021, the researchers revealed. In these proceedings, the Russian judiciary refers to crypto assets as property and the parties must provide documents proving they own the coins.
Illegal use of electricity for cryptocurrency mining is considered a civil offense in Russia that entails debt collection. During the review period, Russians operating underground mining facilities had to pay 61.5 million rubles (more than $1.1 million at current exchange rates) in nine such cases.
To prepare its report, RTM analyzed published records of courts of general jurisdiction and arbitration tribunals, as well as information obtained from official correspondence from various departments. The results of their study come as authorities in Moscow continue to debate what legal status cryptocurrencies should have in Russia.
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