Russia: Court Rules Bitcoin Is Property In Landmark Bankruptcy Case
Russia classified cryptocurrency as property for the first time May 7 after a bankruptcy court forced a debtor to include his holdings in his personal wealth.
Moscow Court Demands Access To $1850 In BTC
As local news outlet RBC reports, the Ninth Arbitration Court of Appeal in Moscow obliged bankruptcy victim Ilya Tsarkov to disclose the contents of his Blockchain.info wallet to bankruptcy lawyer Aleksey Leonov as part of the real estate estimation process.
The move represents a first for Russia, and comes at a time when hard-and-fast laws classifying cryptocurrency are still being created.
In February, a court ruled out classifying Bitcoin holdings as property, citing a lack of official regulation – a decision the latest ruling appears to ignore.
According to RBC, Leonov’s debts total around 18 million rubles ($285,000). His Blockchain.info wallet contains 0.2 BTC ($1850).
Lawyer To Contest Decision
Despite the relatively small sums of cryptocurrency involved, the lawyer representing Tsarkov said he was preparing to challenge the decision.
“The finance manager should be working out options for asset sales and presenting them in court, but given the absence of practice in selling cryptocurrencies, the process will likely drag on, and we’ll have time to contest the ruling,” RBC quotes Genadiy Uvarkin as saying.
What appears to be an unlikely anomaly is nonetheless representative of Russia’s approach to cryptocurrency in law in previous years.
In 2017, a court in St. Petersburg banned the dissemination of information related to Bitcoin in a sudden ruling it subsequently overturned nine months later.
The legal package meant to govern aspects of status and trading of crypto is due to become law in July, but its first reading generated a considerable number of amendments from government critics.
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