ASK cannot control officials with cryptocurrencies

Crypto assets listed for the first time in property records. Spajić owns several cryptocurrencies, but he did not state their value, Milović said that his are worth 35.000 euros

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Officials in Europe now report that they have cryptocurrencies: Milović and Spajić, Photo: BORIS PEJOVIC
Officials in Europe now report that they have cryptocurrencies: Milović and Spajić, Photo: BORIS PEJOVIC
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

Several public officials stated in their property records that they own so-called cryptocurrencies, and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption told "Vijesta" that they do not have the legal ability to control the property of officials or to adopt any preventive or repressive measures.

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset - money that is used as a means of exchange and payment. Their value varies like securities and traditional currencies, and there are digital exchanges for their trading, as well as crypto machines where payments can be made with them.

In Montenegro, there is no law that determines their existence, nor the way of using and performing transactions. The Ministry of Finance announced that they are preparing such a regulation.

Regarding the appearance of cryptocurrencies in the property records of public officials, as a newspaper that is not regulated by law, "The News asked questions to the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption - how ASK can check these assets and their real value and whether they will do it; whether ASK will ask for access to their crypto wallets for those officials, which is equivalent to a bank account; do they think it is necessary to change the law or some other acts so that the ASK can more successfully control public officials who use cryptocurrencies and in which direction these changes in the law should go.

All questions from this institution were answered with just one sentence:

"Cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency holders, as well as the entire process related to that area of ​​financial business and income generation must be regulated by positive regulations. Only then can we talk about control, both from the preventive and the repressive side".

The officials of Europe are now the ones who declared in their property records that they own cryptocurrencies, and they announced the adoption of a program that would enable the trade in cryptocurrencies to stimulate the economic development of Montenegro.

The current president of Europe, Milojko Spajić, reported that he owns cryptocurrencies, stating their names "BTC, ETH, BNB, USDT, etc." He did not state their value, but only that he acquired them by purchase.

Andrej Milović, who was also the director of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies Directorate at the Ministry of Finance when Spajić was at its head, reported that he owns cryptocurrencies without specifying their names. He wrote that their market value is 35 thousand euros, as well as that the basis of the acquisition remains.

Former State Secretary in the Ministry of Finance Branko Krvavac and President of the Board of Directors of the newly founded Innovation Fund and now Councilor for Europe, Vasilije Čarapić, only reported that they have cryptocurrencies without specifying their names and estimated value. Both stated that they acquired them by purchase.

KAS's legal obligations are to check the assets of public officials and related persons to determine whether their value corresponds to the reported income, in order to prevent possible abuses, conflicts of interest and illegal enrichment.

Also, cryptocurrency owners now pay no taxes on those assets or on the profit made on the difference between the value when they bought it and the price at which they sold it. The profit from those transactions is most similar to the now defined capital gain. Capital gain is defined as any income that the taxpayer realizes through the sale or other transfer of property for a fee.

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