Russian Courts Can’t Agree on Whether Crypto Is Property

Russian courts are making conflicting rulings on whether or not bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies rely as property.

In one new case, Saint Petersburg’s district court docket has refused to drive bogus legislation enforcement officers to return cryptocurrencies extorted from a sufferer on the premise that digital property will not be authentic property.

According to the press workplace Telegram channel for the Saint Petersburg courts, the district court docket convicted two males for extorting cash from an unnamed cryptocurrency OTC dealer on June 30. 

The criminals had pretended to be officers of Russia’s legislation enforcement and counter-terrorism company, the Federal Security Service (FSB) – the successor of the KGB.

Threatening to beat and torture the sufferer, in addition to faking that they’d opened a felony case towards him, Petr Piron and Eugeny Prigozhin pressured the sufferer to pay them 5 million rubles (over $70,000) in money and switch 99.7035 in bitcoin and a few DigiByte and BitShares tokens to their digital wallets. The bitcoin alone is price over $900,000 at present costs.

According to the court docket press launch, the sufferer has been handed again the money that was stolen. However, the court docket didn’t rule that the cryptocurrencies must also be transferred again. The court docket’s web site confirms the convictions, though it doesn’t present the textual content of the ruling. 

The press launch, nonetheless, factors out that, below the Russian Civil Code, cryptocurrencies haven’t any authorized standing and due to this fact can’t be deemed property for the aim of a legal case.

Plain flawed?

The resolution is nothing greater than a mistake, believes crypto-savvy lawyer and deputy head of the Chamber of Tax Consultants in Russia, Mikhail Uspenskiy. “The stance that cryptocurrency is some kind of a dummy and has no legal significance, is deeply flawed and erroneous,” Uspenskiy informed CoinDesk. 

He identified that, beforehand, the Russian courts have acknowledged crypto as a type of property. Uspenskiy cited the case of Ilya Tsarkov, who filed for chapter in 2019 and was pressured to disclose his crypto holdings in order that they are often included in his property for chapter proceedings. 

There have been additionally legal circumstances through which the courts handled crypto property like a type of property, comparable to when bitcoin was extorted throughout blackmail or faux banknotes exchanged for crypto, Uspenskiy mentioned. 

And in one other case, after a Russian court docket refused to acknowledge crypto losses claimed by ICO buyers who used a web based funding platform known as, a Moscow court docket of appeals backed the unique ruling, however did outline cryptocurrency as “other kind of property.”

The appeals court docket additional mentioned that, below Russian legislation, crypto is just not outlined both as property, an asset, a cash surrogate or data.

That might quickly change. In June, a bundle of draft payments was launched within the nation’s parliament, the State Duma, suggesting that cryptocurrencies needs to be handled as property. The payments would additionally, nonetheless, prohibit any operations with crypto utilizing Russia-based infrastructure.

The initiative has been criticized by Russia’s Mininstry of Economic Development and Ministry of Justice, in addition to by the crypto group advocates within the nation.


The chief in blockchain information, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the very best journalistic requirements and abides by a strict set of editorial insurance policies. CoinDesk is an impartial working subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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