International edition
June 21, 2021

The bill would go into effect in 2015

Russia planning to criminalize Bitcoin use

(Russia).-Russian Finance Ministry announced on the government’s regulation website that it was drafting a bill to outlaw nationals using Bitcoin as a currency. If approved, those who break the new laws will likely face jail time.

T

he announcement said:

“According to Article 27 of the Federal Law ‘On the Central Bank of the Russian Federation’ (Bank of Russia) the official Russian currency is ruble. The issuance of monetary surrogates in Russia is forbidden as well as the introduction of other monetary units. However, monetary surrogate has no standard definition in the Russian legislation.”

“Сryptocurrencies have no real value and their prices are determined due to speculations. So, there is a great risk that investors will lose their money,”

The bill that has yet to be officially presented would go into effect in 2015 should it be supported by the government, stating that the justification given for the ban is that Bitcoin, which is backed by no central authority and allows anonymous users, is that the digital money attracts a “shadow economy.” 

The ministry cites the popularity of using cryptocurrencies for buying illegal goods and laundering money, two uses that have made worldwide headlines in recent years. 

Earlier this year, the Russian Central Bank issued a warning that the law already prohibits “money substitutes,” as Russian authorities have taken to calling cryptocurrency, and any involvement—purchase, exchange, mining, selling—will be prosecuted using laws that target money laundering and terrorist financing.

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