Over the course of last year, the number of lawsuits filed in Russia relating to cryptocurrencies, digital asset exchanges, and coin minting increased dramatically, reaching 1,531. The figure comes from RTM Group's research, which was reported by a local media outlet this week.
According to the media outlet, the bulk of these cases, 954 in total, were started under various provisions of the Russian Criminal Code. Another quarter of the cases (365) are civil cases, nearly one-tenth (141) are bankruptcy cases, and 5% (71) are administrative cases, according to the report.
According to the study's fundings, Cryptocurrency is most frequently used in criminal cases involving drug trafficking since people involved want their payments to remain anonymous - 738 such cases were filed last year. Laundering unlawful cash via digital currency is another criminal process.
The bulk of civil law issues include claims of unjust enrichment from crypto transactions (42 cases). When a person sends money to a third party to acquire cryptocurrencies, the quantity received is often less than expected or agreed upon.
Meanwhile, according to the experts, the number of bankruptcy cases involving cryptocurrency ownership has increased in 2021. The Russian judiciary refers to crypto assets as property in these procedures, and both parties are expected to present documentation showing ownership of the coins.
In Russia, illegally using energy for bitcoin mining is considered a civil violation that implies debt collection. In nine similar incidents throughout the study period, Russians operating underground mining sites were forced to pay 61.5 million rubles (nearly $1.1 million at current prices).
RTM analyzed published actions of general jurisdiction and arbitration courts, as well as material gathered from official communication of several departments, in order to create its report. The findings of the research are being released as officials in Moscow continue to dispute the legal status of cryptocurrencies in Russia.