Russia’s Sberbank Asks Client To Disclose Details On Cryptocurrency Revenue


Russia’s biggest bank, the Sberbank, has reportedly asked one of its clients to provide information relating to income obtained from cryptocurrency.

Forbes in Russian reported in an article on May 17 that the bank had sent a letter to the unnamed client requesting that the recipient discloses the details of their revenue earned from cryptocurrency.

The publication quotes Vladimir Smerkis, the co-founder of digital asset trading platform, as saying that Sberbank’s letter to the client arose from Federal Law No. 115. The AML/CTF law seeks to combat money laundering and potential use of crypto to fund terrorism.

Apparently, the bank sent the demand letter despite the said client having purportedly already revealed to the bank that they earned some income from the exchange of cryptocurrencies.

As per the report, it appears the bank wanted more information, which they laid out in the letter. Specifically, the letter demanded that the client provides information regarding their crypto wallet address, the type of mining hardware the client used, and the devices’ hash rate indicators, among other details.

The client also had to provide documents that confirmed whether they owned or had leased the mining equipment. Furthermore, it wanted documents related to the premises in which the mining farm was housed.

Forbes says that Sberbank had confirmed the alleged information.

According to Smerkis, the bank’s move was a worrying one, noting that Sberbank had applied terms that were basically not yet entrenched in Russian law.

However, Artem Tolkachev, the CEO of decentralized digital asset exchange Tokenomica, felt that what Sberbank had done was nothing new. According to him, the bank operates “within their [own] regulatory framework” when it comes to handling cash.

To him, the move could as well be a legal way of introducing crypto-related revenues into circulation.

Meanwhile, Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev said last week that regulating the crypto sector wasn’t a priority for the Russian authorities given that the popularity of cryptocurrencies had diminished greatly.

Medvedev nonetheless noted that issues to do with regulations had been discussed in May 2018, during a forum in which he advised the government to formulate legislation for some of the basic cryptocurrency terms.

In his latest remarks, the politician noted that hype around Bitcoin (BTC) had decreased greatly. Nevertheless, the cryptocurrency markets are still very much capable of a rally.

Russia’s parliament (lower house) passed the “On Digital Financial Assets” bill in May last year. However, it has not been ratified as the Duma returned it to its first reading stage after it noted the bill did not capture key concepts like cryptocurrency mining.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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