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Russian security agency wants exchanges to share data with crime investigators

Cointelegraph By David Attlee

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) have submitted their review notes on the forthcoming “crypto bill,” developed by the country’s Finance Ministry. Law enforcement agencies push for requiring crypto firms to share transaction data with investigators and for clarifying the terms on which digital assets can be seized. 

On April 28, local newspaper Izvestia reported on the content of the review notes that the security service and police ministry filed to the Finance Ministry’s draft of the bill “On digital currency”. Some of the propositions were reportedly accepted by the Ministry, while others were turned down.

The Finance Ministry endorsed the FSB’s suggestion to oblige crypto service providers to share  information not only with courts, but also with crime investigators. It also agreed that it was necessary to clarify a set of requirements for storing crypto transactions data.

Another remark came from the MVD, which noted that the bill lacks procedural details on crypto assets’ seizure and storage. The Federal Tax Service (FNS) also contributed a proposition to tighten the requirements for non-licensed exchanges and wallets — advertising such services would be illegal. These recommendations were accepted by the Finance Ministry as well.

What the Ministry did not accept was the FSB’s proposal of mandatory transaction of any mined currencies to licensed exchanges, as well as the application of anti-money laundering (AML) legislation to mining.

Related: Russia to include crypto into its tax code: Here is what the rules might look like

The Finance Ministry called the “excessively detailed and tight regulation” unfeasible at this point, as it might scare away crypto users and investors. The FNS’ idea to disallow the banks to make crypto transactions with non-licensed entities merited a further discussion, the Ministry commented.

According to the head of the State Duma’s Financial Market Committee, Anatoly Aksakov, the final draft of the “crypto bill” is expected to be introduced to the Parliament in May.

Last week, Reuters reported that the regional head of crypto exchange Binance agreed to supply Russia’s financial intelligence unit, Rosfinmonitoring, with customer data potentially related to donations to the opposition activist Alexei Navalny. The company called this allegation “categorically false” in its blog post.