Maxim Ali has told about court practice in digital currency disputes

Maxim Ali - Partner

Russian legislation defines digital currency as a collection of electronic data that can be accepted as a means of payment or investment. Digital currencies have been recognised as property for the purposes of enforcement proceedings and “anti-money laundering” legislation since 2021 . In February 2022, the Central Bank announced that it was drafting a bill to ban the issue and circulation of digital currencies in Russia, but in parallel the Ministry of Finance is preparing its own bill to allow digital currencies as an investment vehicle upon customer identification. In addition, the ministry plans to establish a regulatory framework for mining.

Maxim Ali, Partner and Head of IP/IT practice at Maxima Legal, told legal media that the situation will remain unstable until the government decides on the future of the digital currency, but the tightening of circulation rules may swing the pendulum of court practice towards bans and illegal status. Currently, according to the expert, there is a kind of “legal schizophrenia” in court practice, with courts looking at cryptocurrencies in fundamentally different ways when resolving disputes.

Maxim noted that the position of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is of fundamental importance in conditions of uncertainty. For example, the highest court sided with a trader of the BTC online service, from whom Sberbank demanded reimbursement of funds fraudulently transferred on behalf of the bank client to buy a cryptocurrency. At that, Maxim Ali reminded that according to Federal Law No. 259-FZ “On digital financial assets and digital currency”, claims of companies and citizens related to digital currencies are subject to judicial protection only if they inform tax authorities about the fact of possession of such assets.

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